How Using the Five Minute Journal Actually Improved my Mindset
It’s no secret the words gratitude, mindfulness and changing your mindset have gained a lot of traction throughout social media as of late (especially with the rise of Tik Tok and it’s spiritual side). When we think of what it means to be mindful and changing our mindset, if we’re just starting out with these concepts it can seem like a lot to tackle (ie, where the heck do you start?). When I started diving deeper into exploring mindfulness and gratitude and making these solid habits within my daily routine, I checked out the Five Minute Journal and was not disappointed. Below I’ll share with you how the Five Minute Journal actually improved my mindset and how it may inspire you to add into your routine.
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What Is the Five Minute Journal?
The Five Minute Journal is quite literally what it sounds like. With this journal you take a couple minutes each morning and evening (works out to about five minutes a day) to start your day with gratitude, and end your day with mindful reflection. By making this a daily habit, you’re restructuring your brain to see the positives, incorporate gratitude every single day and challenges you to live a more intentional life.
What Happens When We Start Our Day With Gratitude
There are so many health benefits to practicing gratitude, ones we often don’t even think about. Practicing gratitude can help improve our mental health, boost our immune system, enhance our optimism and improve our relationships with others (just to name a few) (source: healthline). Over time, practicing gratitude strengthens our mind-body connection, helps us feel less stressed, and helps us to have a more positive outlook on our lives (source: mind body green). When you decide to start your day with gratitude, you set yourself up to have a more positive outlook right from the beginning.
The Benefits of Reflecting at the End of the Day
At the end of the day, the journal asks you to reflect on three ‘amazing things’ that happened to you that day. By doing this practice, you have the chance to reflect on your day and pick out the highlights you may have forgotten throughout the day. You also get a chance to relive these moments, and take the time to cherish them. By doing this daily, you reap the benefits of self reflection (gaining more ideas, understanding yourself better, giving yourself perspective and learning from your mistakes) (source: medium).
How Does it Work?
In the Morning…
In the morning, you write down three things you’re grateful for, three things that would make today great and then create a daily affirmation for yourself. These things will change on a daily basis as you grow, change and as your life changes throughout the seasons.
In the Evening…
You reflect on three amazing things that happened to you that day, and then you ask yourself what you could have done better. This gives you an opportunity for self reflection and to identify both positives and areas you’d like to change.
If this is all new for you, that’s okay. The journal is designed to help you thrive, and is structured in a way that has the prompts filled out for you daily. Additionally, if gratitude and affirmations are something that are new to you, the first thirty seven pages are dedicated to explaining the science behind the journal, walking you through how to fill out the journal and giving you examples and exercises to practice filling out the journal. Interested in changing your mindset? You can shop here!
How the Five Minute Journal Actually Improved my Mindset
Created a Sense of Routine
By starting my day and ending my day with the Five Minute Journal, it slowly became a habit. I placed it beside my bed or underneath the pillow beside me to prompt me to look at it the second I woke up. Over time, it became easier to wake up and automatically start to ask myself what I was grateful for, what I wanted to do that day to make myself feel good and what I wanted my daily affirmation to be. It’s become a staple in both my morning and evening routine, and the self reflection aspect is something I look forward to at the end of each day!
Challenged Me to Start Each Day With Gratitude
I had always made the habit to practice gratitude at the end of the day before I got the journal. I found it easy to pick a few things each day that I had been grateful for happening. This journal actually challenged me to think of three things I was grateful for before I had even started my day. It challenged me to be grateful for the things I already had in my life, without anything having happened yet that day.
This shifted my perspective, and while I still practice gratitude throughout the day and at the end of the day, I like the added challenge of looking for positives in my life before the day even starts!
Motivated Me to Incorporate More Greatness into My Day
When the journal asks you for three things that would make today great, it explains in the instructions to pick things you can control (for example, something I would say that would make today great is getting an iced coffee before work). Picking things that I thought would make my day great before the day started gave me more inspiration to incorporate more joy and self care into my days. I went the extra mile and started highlighting the ones I completed at the end of the day, so I could track my progress over time.
Instilled Discipline Instead of Motivation
We often think motivation is the driving force behind our success, but discipline is what carries us through on days we don’t feel like doing things. Writing in this journal daily is something that became a habit, and discipline is something that allowed me to continue this practice on days I didn’t feel like writing in it first thing in the morning. Discipline kept me accountable to push myself to write in it both morning and night, to keep up the habit of starting and ending my day with positivity, gratitude and reflection.
Changed the Way I Practiced Self Reflection
Truthfully, I’ve often had the best intentions with self reflection, but at the same time I’ve found it a hard practice. When it comes to self reflection, my inner dialogue often shifts into more of a judgemental state, and one that’s rooted in disappointment and is shame based. The Five Minute Journal gently asks you how could I have made today even better? at the end of each day to prompt you into self reflection. I found asking myself this question prompted a gentler response to myself, as I wasn’t looking for things I did wrong, but simply areas I could improve. This has become one of my favourite questions to answer because it let’s me look back on my day and ask myself what areas I feel like I need improving in.
Are You Ready to Completely Change Your Mindset?
As I talked about in my last post, the science behind changing your mindset is centred around re-wiring those pathways in your brain to form new thoughts, opinions and courses of action. The Five Minute Journal isn’t magic just on it’s own accord, but the practice of writing in it every day and challenging yourself to practice gratitude, mindfulness and self reflection is what will slowly shape and change your life.
Is trying the Five Minute Journal something you’ve adopted into your life or are interested in doing? Let me know below in the comments!