Recently, I’ve been adopting more of a positive psychology approach to my clients, as recently there’s been an increase in people feeling down. A great way to start changing that is by using a positivity journal. Thus, I created a positivity journal for people to complete and this article to go with it. Enjoy.
What Is Positivity?
I know I probably don’t need to define this, but given that this is the basis of the article, I feel like I should, anyway. Unfortunately, dictionaries like Merriam-Webster use the word positive to define positivity, which is kind of lazy, if you ask me. Fortunately, The Berkeley Well-Being Institute had something a little more up to the task. They defined positivity as the practice or tendency to be optimistic in life, or positive.
Basically, positivity is composed of being positive, acting positive, positive thinking, positive emotions, and engaging in positive behaviours. Which sounds intense when you put it like that. So let’s stick with the tendency to be optimistic and positive.
What Is A Positivity Journal?
Journaling is a long-held self-care intervention within the field of therapy that can be recommended to help with a wide range of issues or simple data collection. So what’s a positivity journal then? It’s an intervention taken from positive psychology that can help you tap into a positive mindset, using a similar setup to traditional journaling.
How Can A Positivity Journal Help Me Become Happier?
Life is hard for most people. There’s no getting around that, and because it’s hard, our brains can develop thinking errors, or cognitive biases as it’s also referred to. These thinking errors can cause us to focus on the wrong aspects of life, the aspects that bring us down: life’s negatives.
For example, there’s a thinking error called ‘focusing on the negatives’. This is where our mind filters out the positives to focus on the negatives. As the name of this error suggests. It’s an easy thinking error to develop because it’s so easy to doomscroll. What keeping a positivity journal does it help to readdress that bias. In doing so, you can increase your chances of being happier.
Because keeping a positivity journal can help bring you back from a negative mindset, it can be useful in tackling conditions like depression. Depression can be stubborn to shift, and in some cases, might require antidepressants to restore a person’s quality of life.
- Anhedonia (an inability to enjoy pleasurable things that would usually cause you pleasure).
- Anergia (unusually low level of energy).
- Concentration (lacking in motivation).
Interventions like keeping a positivity journal can help challenge these three symptoms of depression, and if they can be overcome with interventions like this, then great. However, when they remain, this likely means a conversation needs to be had with your GP to start on antidepressants and/or talking therapy. Therefore, in therapy, suggesting a positivity journal as homework is a good way to find out just how bad a person’s depression is. Thus, it can also be a good way for you to find out how bad your depression is as well.
Furthermore, by actively seeking out the positivity in your life and the world around you, the happier you’re likely to be (Catalino, Algoe, and Fredrickson, 2014). In short, the pursuit of happiness starts with looking for the positives. Because happiness isn’t a choice, it’s something you have to work at. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t be happy all the time, and trying to do so will lead to failure.
Developing a positive mindset, by starting with the simple intervention of keeping a positivity journal, can have a positive impact on both your mental wellbeing and health (Verywell Mind). This is because it’s easier to manage stress when you’re not fixated on the worst outcomes. Even if you do have a positive mindset, you still have to get through life and the stresses that come with it. It’s just a little easier to handle the reality of life.
What’s great about adjusting to a more positive mindset is that it doesn’t just benefit you. When parents engage in more positive interactions with their children, their children tend to have better mental health outcomes (Foster et al., 2022). But it doesn’t just spread positivity within the child/parent dynamic. Just think along the lines of, “Laughter is contagious”.
My positivity journal comes with three steps to follow to help you develop a more positive and optimistic outlook on life. It’s designed to be followed over several weeks, so it builds up in scale, with the hopes it’ll help you enjoy life a little more.
You can buy my positivity journal through my shop by clicking here.
It’s all about developing a positive mindset. If you can do that, it’s easier to experience happiness and live a better quality of life. The positivity journal that you can buy from my shop is the stepping stone to make that happen. Keep your eyes open for future articles on how to further develop your positive mindset.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with using a positivity journal and developing a positive mindset in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.
Catalino, L. I., Algoe, S. B., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2014). Prioritizing positivity: An effective approach to pursuing happiness?. Emotion, 14(6), 1155. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5533095 and https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2014-48826-003.
Foster, D., Rodrigues, M., Somir, I., Aziz, T., Patel, R., Ragunathan, S., Sokolovic, N., & Jenkins, J. (2022). Paternal positivity and child mental health: A meta-analysis. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 31(9), 2556-2570. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel-Foster-14/publication/362428333_Paternal_Positivity_and_Child_Mental_Health_A_Meta-Analysis/links/6332123f86b22d3db4e552d3/Paternal-Positivity-and-Child-Mental-Health-A-Meta-Analysis.pdf and https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10826-022-02361-7.