Jan
06

Positive Journaling – an Example of Positive Psychology

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Positive Psychology Seminar, Anda Jines LCPC (right) with Dr. Lynn Johnson (left)

I recently attended an interesting seminar on positive psychology, which is very much in line with my interest in wellness.  Whereas clinical psychology puts the emphasis on correcting what is wrong, positive psychology puts the emphasis on prescriptions for happiness.

Dr. Lynn Johnson, presented us with the latest research on the effectiveness of positive psychology, as well as a collection of positive interventions, including methods for improving:

  • gratitude
  • strengths
  • lifestyle (sleep, nutrition, exercise, fulfilling work)
  • mental discipline and meditation
  • kindness and compassion
  • optimism
  • connecting with others
  • savoring

He shared a lot of information and ideas… too much to go into here.  But one that especially stood out to me was the positive journal.

Positive Journal

People have a tendency to focus on the things that are bothering them, precisely because they are uncomfortable, painful, overwhelming or require our attention.  The things that go right, however, are often overlooked and taken for granted, simply because they don’t require us to do something about them.  If you feel that you’ve been focusing a lot on negative things lately, it can be helpful to deliberately bring your attention to those things that are positive, even if they’re not very big.  Developing a habit of noticing the positive can help you to boost your mood, feel better about yourself, and feel more motivated.

Instructions:  For each day, write down some positive experiences or thoughts.  The categories below can help you to think of examples.  You don’t have to write something down for every category.  It’s okay to just fill in a couple for each day.  But try to write down as many as come to mind.

  1. Some things that made me smile today are:
  2. Some things that I’m grateful for today are:
  3. Some things that I accomplished today are:
  4. Some kindnesses that I gave or received today are:
  5. Some experiences that I savored today are:
  6. Some things I feel optimistic about today are:
  7. Some ways that I was strong today are:
  8. Some ways that I encountered beauty today are:
  9. Some good self-care choices that I made today are:
  10. Some ways that I connected with others today are:
  11. Some things that I like about myself today are:
  12. Some other positives today are:

This can become a soothing routine, a beautiful ritual, and a healthy habit.  You have several options for continuing this positive journal:

  • You can write your answers on blank sheets or in a notebook.
  • You can incorporate it into a journal that you have already started.
  • You can keep a digital version of this journal, in programs like Word or Excell.
  • You can “journal” into a digital recorder.

What would be most convenient for you?  I recommend that you go out and get a special journal for this, one that visually represents you at your best, your positive mood, what you find beautiful or positive.  That way, whenever you glance at it, it will look inviting and uplifting.  This kind of journaling will help you to more readily notice the positive.  You can also review your previous entries when you want to cheer yourself up.

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park, IL (60477); near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Orland Hills, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort. Click here for more about Anda Jines MS LCPC.  Click here for more about Hoover & Associates.  To make an appointment, call 708-429-6999.

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