If you are feeling blue and in need of a little pick-me-up, there’s nothing better than having an instant reminder of all the things that make you happy. Keeping a gratitude journal is one way to help keep positivity at the forefront, but sometimes the idea of putting together this type of book is easier than the actual execution. And, besides, what if you need the happiness boost now and can’t wait to look back later on a pre-written thankfulness list?

Here are four easy exercises that you can either incorporate into your regular journal writing or work on during the moments that life has got you down.

Release Your Anger

One of the biggest issues that can hold you back from experiencing true joy is hanging on to anger. If resentment toward another person or situation is affecting you, try writing down exactly why you are feeling this way. Then, try writing about how it would feel to release this anger and you will be one step closer to actually being able to move forward.

Connect with Nature

If you find that you are often too “in your own head,” then it may be time to stop overthinking and simply be. Take a step outside into the natural world and record what you see, hear and smell. Allowing yourself to truly experience the moment will mean being able to finally turn off your inner dialogue.

“Dump” Your Thoughts

If “thinking happy thoughts” just isn’t cutting it for you, it may be time to acknowledge what the issue is that you’re truly struggling with. Give yourself the go-ahead to free-flow write everything that you are feeling and you may be surprised by where your mind takes you. Whether or not you do come to any grand realisations, though, getting out your innermost feelings will mean finally being able to complete those thoughts and begin to move toward reconciling them.

Pay Yourself a Compliment

A gratitude journal is great, but reminding yourself of external things or people you are thankful for is actually a bit passive when you are needing to boost your own self-esteem. Instead, try making a point to pay yourself a compliment for something you have achieved that day. Even if it is something as simple as “finally cleaned out my closet” or “let someone in front of me in line at the supermarket,” reminding yourself of the goodness and strength that you have within is an important part of building up your morale.


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