Journaling For Happiness - Learn How To Journal Your Way To Happiness

Journaling, gratitude, mindfulness, and introspection.

What do all these things have in common?

They are all significantly correlated to happiness. Now, what does this have to do with journaling? It's easy: journaling - no matter in what form - helps you achieve these things.

There is plenty of scientific research on the benefits of journaling. But that's not what I want to focus on in this section. I want to focus on the simple fact that journaling is fun.

Chapter 4 journal your way to happiness header

Latest articles

future self writing journaling to happy yourself featured
Future Self Journaling: How To, Studies & Examples
February 5, 2020

Future self journaling is one of the most fun methods of journaling and can be very beneficial for your (future) happiness. This article will show you examples of studies and how I used this tactic myself in order to steer my life in a better direction. Let’s get started!

how to journal for self improvement featured image
How to Journal for Self-Improvement – Examples and Tips
January 17, 2020

There are a lot of different reasons to journal, but journaling for self-improvement can help you to achieve your goals. In this article, I’ll show you how journaling can help you improve yourself and become happier.

self awareness journal featured image
How To Journal For Self-Awareness (+Tips and Examples)
December 19, 2019

Journaling is one of the best ways to grow self-awareness. This is supported by science, examples and personal experience. If you’re looking to grow your self-awareness through journaling, this article is exactly what you need.

The first step: start journaling!

Have you ever heard the following phrase?

"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now."

Even though you much rather had started twenty years ago, that shouldn't stop you from starting right now.

The same goes for journaling. Everybody started the same way: writing down that first word on a piece of paper. Even the people who are now known to be the greatest diarists around started the same way, by writing something along the lines of "dear diary..."

My first written words in my journal were:

This is my first ever page.

How creative...

My point is, journaling is one of the most powerful tools to being grateful, mindful, self-aware, introspective and therefore being happy. If you're not sure how to even start, here's my advice:

  • Buy a nice little notebook
  • Find a great pen
  • Sit down with a cup of coffee
  • Write the following words: "Dear diary, today this happened:"

And go from there.

how can journaling help you be successful featured image
How Can Journaling Help You Be Successful? (Examples and Science)

There’s a reason why you keep hearing about journaling. Journaling has been shown to reduce stress, improve cognitive functioning and decrease symptoms of depression. In this article, we’ll take a look at how different types of journaling can help you succeed.

when and how to start journaling
How To Start Journaling? [With Actual Stories Of Others]

You have probably read about the many positive aspects of keeping a journal. If you still haven’t started journaling yet, then look no further. This article covers exactly when and how you should start journaling. I’ve included actual stories of when and how different people started their diaries, and while at it, I’ve gone ahead and added my personal story as well!

Find the journaling method that you love

There are over a thousand different journaling methods out there.

It's safe to assume that you won't enjoy every method. In fact, you'll need to find the journaling method that you love.

As much as no one is able to tell you how to live a happy life, no one will be able to determine what journaling method will make you the happiest. I personally made the switch from pen and paper to a digital journal format a couple of years ago. Even now, I tweak my journal every couple of months!

If you at least just start journaling, you will quickly be able to find out what helps you the most on your pathway to happiness.

Embrace gratitude

Gratitude is strongly correlated to positive emotions and good experiences, and the reason why is very simple to explain.

A study on gratitude was conducted in 2003 by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough. The study found that people who are actively reminded of things to be grateful for are 10% happier than those who aren't.

This might not sound like a lot at first, but when talking about happiness, mood and subjective well-being, this is a very significant result. See, things like happiness and mood are extremely hard to measure and define. The measurement of subjective things like these is distorted in a lot of ways, like biases, different measuring scales, and wrong interpretations to name a few. The researchers have done a great job to eliminate as much of the distortion as possible, and a 10% increase in happiness as a result of practicing gratitude is a huge observation.

So if you want to be happier, it's a great idea to start adding gratitude to your journal (more on that later!)

gratitude makes us happier featured
How Does Gratitude Make Us Happier? (With Actual Examples)

Being grateful is scientifically correlated to a higher feeling of happiness. This article shows how being grateful for something can directly have a positive influence on your happiness. So even when you are not completely in control of all your emotions all the time, showing gratitude can at least help you steer your happiness in the best direction possible. That’s the most important takeaway here.

Study and learn from your journal on how to be happier!

Here's something not a lot of people do:

Learn from your journal and find out how you can be happier.

At the start of this guide, I talked about how no-one can tell you how to live a happy life. Not your parents, not your friends, not me, and especially not your colleagues.

Only you can learn how to be happy yourself. See where I'm going here? If you've been journaling for some time already, you have an immense amount of knowledge sitting right underneath your nose.

Your journal is able to teach you:

  • How to be happy on crappy Mondays.
  • How to deal with that annoying colleague (we all have one).
  • How to not be bothered by your busy commute.
  • How much your friends improve your happiness.
  • That you're not as happy when you feel hungover.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

You get the point, right?

By journaling, you're basically recording daily case studies (or experiments) on how your life is influenced by everything. You can learn from these daily experiments!

So take out your journal and read it through whenever you're feeling like it. You'll be surprised about how much you can learn from yourself.

self awareness journal featured image
How To Journal For Self-Awareness (+Tips and Examples)

Journaling is one of the best ways to grow self-awareness. This is supported by science, examples and personal experience. If you’re looking to grow your self-awareness through journaling, this article is exactly what you need.

Keep track of your memories

I was shocked that only a small number of people knows of this journaling method.

It all started a couple of years ago. When I was 20 years old, I slowly grew obsessed with memorizing my own memories. Simply put, I wanted to make sure I never lost any of my memories ever again. What kind of memories?

  • Memories of how my granddad used to take me trainspotting
  • Memories of how I once peed in the classroom in kindergarten without anyone noticing
  • Memories of my first pet

You get the point. These are all good memories that I'm extremely grateful for, and I don't ever want to forget them.

That's why I started to keep track of my memories in a dedicated memory journal.

It's amazing how much happiness can come from re-reading memories of your past. That's why I was so shocked that no-one else seems to be doing this.

This is simply a great journaling method for those who want to be happier.

Remembering memories, Filling in the blanks timeline of my life
Remembering Memories: A Guide To Memorising Your Life

Have you ever wondered what is the oldest memory of your life? This article will be about one of my personal biggest fears: to lose memories of what my life is. I want to show you exactly what I’m doing to not let this happen and I want to inspire you to think about your own memories for a moment.

Don't forget to live life outside of your journal

Journaling is great. I think this section has made that very clear. But - like everything - it's possible to overdo it.

One of my favorite writers - David Sedaris - has worded it beautifully:

That's the thing with a diary, though. In order to record your life, you sort of need to live it. Not at your desk, but beyond it. Out in the world where it's so beautiful and complex and painful that sometimes you just need to sit down and write about it.

David Sedaris, Theft By Finding

What this means is that journaling is a beautiful way to record and learn from your life. But in order to be able to journal, you need to live your life first.

I was surprised when I found out, but there are some people who let journaling control their lives. I don't want you to go down that route!

can journaling be harmful featured image
Can Journaling Be Harmful?

There are some scenarios in which journaling can be harmful. In this article, I’ve done my best to explain the ways in which journaling can have a negative effect on your happiness. Don’t worry though, these scenarios are easily avoidable. In fact, I truly believe journaling is one of the best ways to help you build a happier and better life.

You can be happier. Discover how with my free template!

  • Track your happiness every day
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All articles

future self writing journaling to happy yourself featured
Future Self Journaling: How To, Studies & Examples
February 5, 2020

Future self journaling is one of the most fun methods of journaling and can be very beneficial for your (future) happiness. This article will show you examples of studies and how I used this tactic myself in order to steer my life in a better direction. Let’s get started!

how to journal for self improvement featured image
How to Journal for Self-Improvement – Examples and Tips
January 17, 2020

There are a lot of different reasons to journal, but journaling for self-improvement can help you to achieve your goals. In this article, I’ll show you how journaling can help you improve yourself and become happier.

self awareness journal featured image
How To Journal For Self-Awareness (+Tips and Examples)
December 19, 2019

Journaling is one of the best ways to grow self-awareness. This is supported by science, examples and personal experience. If you’re looking to grow your self-awareness through journaling, this article is exactly what you need.

how can journaling help you be successful featured image
How Can Journaling Help You Be Successful? (Examples and Science)
November 21, 2019

There’s a reason why you keep hearing about journaling. Journaling has been shown to reduce stress, improve cognitive functioning and decrease symptoms of depression. In this article, we’ll take a look at how different types of journaling can help you succeed.

can journaling be harmful featured image
Can Journaling Be Harmful?
May 4, 2019

There are some scenarios in which journaling can be harmful. In this article, I’ve done my best to explain the ways in which journaling can have a negative effect on your happiness. Don’t worry though, these scenarios are easily avoidable. In fact, I truly believe journaling is one of the best ways to help you build a happier and better life.

when and how to start journaling
How To Start Journaling? [With Actual Stories Of Others]
June 8, 2018

You have probably read about the many positive aspects of keeping a journal. If you still haven’t started journaling yet, then look no further. This article covers exactly when and how you should start journaling. I’ve included actual stories of when and how different people started their diaries, and while at it, I’ve gone ahead and added my personal story as well!

Remembering memories, Filling in the blanks timeline of my life
Remembering Memories: A Guide To Memorising Your Life
May 12, 2018

Have you ever wondered what is the oldest memory of your life? This article will be about one of my personal biggest fears: to lose memories of what my life is. I want to show you exactly what I’m doing to not let this happen and I want to inspire you to think about your own memories for a moment.