“The Journal for Those Who Don’t”
A few years ago, I was introduced to The Five Minute Journal at Board Meetings International. Board Meetings International (BMI), is an awesome surf retreat for parents and their children. YES…SURFING, and you don’t have to already know how! It’s about a parent and child looking to create closer, more meaningful relationships away from the day-to-day, and to join in with other parent/child couples during an incredibly inspiring 3-day weekend. So the “Board” in Board Meetings really stands for surf board!http://boardmeetings.com/
A huge theme of the BMI retreat is gratitude and the role it plays in attracting abundance into our lives. The 5 Minute Journal was a perfect tool for them to share with all the participants.
If you’re not into journaling, this is the tool for you.
Journaling was never something I was “into.” Which, as a writer, might sound a bit odd… But frankly, I didn’t get the point in writing down what went on in my daily life. I was living it, why did I need to write it? While my life is an absolute blessing, there isn’t much that changes on a day-to-day basis, so to me it seemed pointless.
Before The Five Minute Journal (T5MJ), I figured I was a pretty grateful person. The odds had been stacked in my favor this life, what was there NOT to be grateful for? But… I soon realized that there’s so much more to learn about gratitude. It’s one thing to be aware of being grateful, and to express appreciation for my life and the people in it. To take that further, to dive deeper into all the many blessings of life on a daily basis, increased the blessings and my enjoyment and awareness of them.
“Gratitude becomes something so palpable, you can taste it… so deep, you can feel it as a presence.” LeAura Alderson, author, Presence Mediations
The Five Minute Journal makes gratitude a conscious habit instead of a subconscious passing thought. This isn’t something you do just on Thanksgiving. Rather, this is a practice you incorporate into your daily LIFE and a way of thinking and living.
Enter The Five Minute Journal
This wasn’t about me documenting my life. This journal was about creating direction, setting goals, writing down lessons, tracking progress, and most importantly, seeing the blessings in each day. I became more cognizant of great privileges taken for granted and a multitude of small blessings easy to forget in the day-to-day routine and busy-ness.
The 5 Minute Journal is an inspiring and practical tool.
You can’t be negative and grateful at the same time, because those mindsets are polar opposites and occupy completely different areas of the brain.
Benefits of Gratitude
- Blocks toxic emotions
- Lowers cortisol
- Reduces stress
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces depression
- Helps in weight loss
- Decreases age degeneration
- Lower blood pressure
- Increases optimism
- Reduces hopelessness
- Less chance of diabetes
- Improved sleep and decreased insomnia
Based on a study conducted by University of California, Davis, gratitude reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, by 23%.http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/2015-2016/11/20151125_gratitude.html
Journal Your Way Each Day
This 5-minute morning journaling starts your day on a positive note. There is a whole section in the beginning of the book that explains the science behind the design of the journal, but science aside, this journal has taught me several lessons.
1. Never underestimate the power of gratitude. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of public speakers and successful people say things like: “Gratitude brings abundance,” and things along those lines. In theory it was cool, though I didn’t really understand it until I did the journal. It seems that abundance is more apt to flow when we appreciate what we have.
2. Set intentions that you control. The power of knowing I’m in control of pretty much all my outcomes is empowering, and it’s both a privilege and responsibility. I believe the idea of “your life being in your own hands” is something people get at a conceptual level, but not so much at a practical level. We think that we’re not worthy, not ready, not prepared, or whatever excuses that block us from reaching what we want. Once I put my intent in writing, it becomes easier to see the glimpse of hope in reaching the desired outcome. That glimpse turns into an expanding vision, which turns into a focus point for our goals, and that’s super helpful motivation for me on the days I feel stuck or out of control of where things are going in my life.
3. You always have room for improvement. No matter how amazing your day was, there is always something you could have done better. The journal is designed to foster reflection at day’s end. This gives you a chance to re-live the day, improve upon it mentally and make the next one better.
The Five Minute Journal is such a great way to begin and end your day. There are times we all get stuck in minutia, negativity and fears that hold us back. This journal allows us to step back, see the big picture, and to remember that each moment, is a precious moment. It’s a process and a journey.
A Great Journal for Men
With its understated elegance, the 5 Minute Journal is also a great journal for men . In fact, its creators are two men. So while as a female, I love this journal, it’s also a great men’s writing journal.
But if you like a more colorful journal, and especially if you’re into gardening and nature, you may enjoy another variation on the journaling theme with the Wisdom Journal: Nature is the Best Classroom.
Thank you for visiting with us! Toward increasing gratitude and joy, you’re invited to download a free guided meditation here.
Embrace the journey!