I wouldn’t call myself a negative person, however I have to say that sometimes I have difficulties fighting some dark thoughts. These thoughts are usually directed towards the negative feelings that I feel for myself or what I do (or don’t do). Positive thinking can turn into really hard work for me sometimes. And this post is not actually about that… I just wanted to share a tool that really helps me direct my thoughts towards the path of positivity, productivity and self-love.
To be honest, I have several people that I get inspired by, however the Ikonn family currently has been a great encouragement to think and act differently, not to be afraid of analysing myself and my own thoughts, as well as trying to figure out what the hell is happening in that vast mind of mine and most importantly to focus on the good and happy things in my life.
I am definitely not sponsored by them (they have more then enough PR that they do themselves…) but I really wanted to share their invention that is called ‘The Five Minute Journal’ and my experience while filling it in.
It has been scientifically proven that positive behavioral traits and thought prolong your life and make you less stressed about your everyday experiences. Thus you are not so easily drawn to temptations and you are able to control your thoughts and mind, and consequently your actions. This control translates to will power. It means that will power can be trained and enhanced by positive thinking. According to ancient wisdom the ‘Beginning and the end of the day is a time to think, evaluate, and correct course’. (1) Filling this journal in is a powerful experience that challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, reflect on your actions, observe your thoughts, which leads you to understanding yourself and your state better and finally knowing which way you want your thoughts, your actions, your life to proceed.
It felt crazy sometimes to be practicing gratitude… I always thought that you either feel the gratitude in your heart or you don’t. But that is actually not true. These little questions you answer forces you to think a little bit deeper about the positive things that happen, or what you can do to improve your mood and attitude.
Honestly, I have missed quite a few days of entries. However, in my opinion this is another hidden purpose of this journal, which is quite a positive experience as well. I feel like this is exactly how you find out that you need to work on your discipline and train your will power to move yourself towards improvement. I am definitely one of these people who always want to improve and think the actions taht need to be taken all the time, but never actually does anything about it. Which is annoying! Following this pattern the only thing I end up feeling is guilt, because it is me who is an obstacle to myself and it is me that does not have enough will power. Usually these things are quite a hard thing to admit without proof. All your decisions and deeds are never documented, thus are past and does not matter anymore. But this little journal is a tool that can turn this around, just because it makes you observe yourself in reality (you wrote it down/or you didn’t and it is the truth that you cannot escape – it is right there in front of you) – how you think, how you act and what you feel, thus you can actively try to change it.
I feel like I still need to work on myself a lot and I have a long way to go in order to train my will power, gratefulness and positivity. Nevertheless, I am sure that the step of starting to write this journal – observing myself, getting to know the person I am and the things I can get negative about – is the key step towards that goal.
They offer the outlay of the Five Minute Journal on their website, as well as a free subscription for the starting-up guide that comes with regular tips of filling the journal in and other positive little communications every week.
Thus, you can take a spare notebook and just start journaling yourself. Just add the questions (better to do it in advance, because in the morning you will be too sleepy to write them down – advice based on practice) and answer them after you wake up first thing in the morning and before you go to sleep last thing in the evening. You can add the quotes that you know or found that inspire you as well if you feel the need. That’s how I chose to do it!
However, when you buy the Original Journal you will find some extra information on the research done and the psychology behind creating it, as well as some little challenges every week that can encourage you to go out of your comfort zone. You also won’t need to write down the questions yourself.
If you are not a paper notebook kind of person, now there is also an app available. I have not tried the app, thus I don’t know how user friendly or effective it is. But it is definitely something to take a look at. The app is currently only available for iOS users (find the app here)
If you struggle filling the Five Minute Journal in to fill in then definitely check out the video of Allex and UJ on how to use your Journal and a few different approaches you can have to fill it in.
Links to the Ikonn YouTube channels:
They share some amazing recommendations on books and articles to read, as well as share their life, experiences and sometimes really great advice and attitudes. I personally don’t try to follow their way of life, but I definitely find them really inspiring especially when it comes to being a knowledgeable human being, relationships, being a generally good person as well as being positive and grateful one.
Happy journaling, you guys!
(1) The Five-Minute Journal, Allex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas, pp. 13, 15.