What is a happiness journal anyway? Learn what this whole happy journaling thing is about as well as my take on it!
Apparently, keeping a happiness journal is a thing now. When I began my happy journal twenty years ago (when I was a toddler, ahem), I didn’t even call it a happy journal. Sure, I was drawing things that made me happy, but I didn’t have a name for it.
Now, everywhere I look I see happiness journals, happiness planners, happiness books. It’s a thing. But truthfully, I think it is a good thing.
Our world is so fast-paced right now, it’s good to take the time to stop and listen and look for the good in our lives. Truly, that is what a happiness journal is all about. Finding the good.
What is a Happiness Journal?
Some people use happiness journals to dive deep into their souls, to mine what makes them tick, what makes them truly happy, etc.
Me? I take a simpler approach.
Years ago, one of my friends in college mentioned that she was always on the lookout for God’s gifts to her. This kind of thinking was revolutionary to me. I had never thought of God working like that, but when I began to look, I began to see.
The sun sparkling on the frosted grass.
A bunny peeping out from behind a bush just as I walked by.
A little kid giggling with a full belly laugh.
When you begin to look for the good, you might be startled to find there is a lot of beauty in this world, even if your personal life is not that great right now.
What to Put in a Happiness Journal
I like to doodle and draw stick figure vignettes of my day. (Here’s a video tutorial on how to draw cute stick figures. :)) It’s something I’ve been doing for years and the results, though not art gallery worthy, are w o n d e r f u l to look back on.
How can you NOT smile when you see a sketch of you standing in line to go on that trip you were so excited about? How can you NOT smile when you flip through the pages of an old happiness journal and see image after image of the things that brought a smile to your face?
That’s actually one of my favorite parts about happy journaling. In the moment, you’re thinking about what made you happy that day or even how you made someone else happy. You’re recording the beauty in your life.
That’s the first benefit. Taking the time to acknowledge your beautiful life.
Then there’s the looking back months or even years later and remembering. Over and over in the Bible, God encourages his people to remember. He had done SO MUCH for them but like us, they were quick to forget.
Creating your own happiness journal is your way of setting a stone in the sand per se, and declaring, “I will remember.” You’ll look back and those moments will come flooding back to you.
Finding the Good and Being the Good
I mentioned how you can record the good in your life as well as the good you’re doing for others. This isn’t so you’ll post it on Instagram and be proud of yourself. It’s more of a quiet testament of how you are being aware of those around you. It might be the quiet nudge you need to show love to others.
I love this quote from Johannes Pedersen as quoted in Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (HIGHLY recommended):
Life consists in the constant meeting of souls, which must share their contents with each other. The blessed gives to the others around him . . . The characteristic of blessing is to multiply.
So, what is a happiness journal? A happiness journal is a book where you record the good in your life. You can do this by listing items or as I do, drawing sketches. You can write the good you are committed to doing for others and keep notes on the blessings you have personally received.
Want to start your own happy journal?
Here are some resources to get you started:
Have an amazing day!