Why I Keep a Happiness Journal

Why I Keep a Happiness Journal

Life is full of downs, but by writing down the positive, we can realize that there are more ups than we thought.


Today was one of the most painful days I have experienced this year so far. After receiving several hurtful and upsetting texts while trying to study, I broke down to my friends in the middle of Kaldi's. One agonizing hour later, I made the difficult decision of leaving a friendship that had grown sour about a month ago. Although I was reassured by my friends and family that I had indeed made the right decision, I was still hounded by the pain that I had caused the other person throughout the rest of my day, and the words that I was texted continued to sting long after I had said goodbye.

Today was nonetheless a good day.

At about this point, you must be thinking that I'm crazy to reaffirm the day with such a positive attitude. I certainly don't mean to make light of my circumstances in any way. For me, ending even a toxic friendship is a challenging decision whose pain will take lots of time, lots of conversation and lots of prayers to heal. I stand here and acknowledge that nothing can take away the fact that the ordeal I went through today was really, really horrible. Yet I also affirm that this difficult part of today lasted a mere hour and a half out of the day's twenty-four hours.

Today was a good day because I did much more then vent and cry about something that made me so upset. I had a great start to my week by attending Passion City Church – which is one of the places that has changed my life the most profoundly. I went bowling with a group of friends from Bread Coffeehouse, made a new pal, and tried amazing chili-cheese fries. I ate the most phenomenal breakfast food – strawberry cream cheese, red velvet cupcakes, coconut puffs, and apple cider – at Dooley's Brunch. I received love from family members and friends alike, who gave me hugs and encouraging words and texts when I was feeling upset. I spent quality time with my roommate, laughing and crying together, after having not properly hung out with her for a week. Most importantly, I cheered on my friend and fellow-church goer, Ariana, who got baptized at my church today and officially began her Christian journey.

These are the sort of events that I record in my happiness journal, which I keep to remind me of the fact that there is good in every day regardless of the trials that I face. According to Action for Happiness, writing down three things you are grateful for every day increases your positivity and helps you when we are going through challenges. I decided to stretch myself and make it five. Before I go to sleep, I record either a funny moment, a happy memory or a genuine compliment that made me smile. For the thirty seconds that this process takes, it truly reverses my sight to see the glass as half full rather than miserably empty. In fact, when I combined this practice with writing down three things I was excited about for the next day, I became so enthused that I found it difficult to go to sleep.

I've kept my happiness journal ever since the eleventh grade, in a turquoise notebook that was given to me from the Dutch equivalent of Walmart whose cover encourages me to "make a note a day every day, and soon this will be your favorite book". One of the reasons that I value this notebook so much is that it serves as a reminder of who I am, what I value and who has supported throughout the years. It reminds me of the activities I used to love – such as watching Vine compilations with my brother or challenging myself to pat as many dogs as possible. Oftentimes, when I'm feeling particularly nostalgic, it reminds me of what makes me happy EXACTLY a year ago today, leaving me to reflect on how much my life has changed since them. When I tend to look back at my high school and early college time as a series of difficulties, my happiness journal reinforces me of the beautiful moments of joy that overpass all my trials.

No matter what stage I am in life, writing a happiness journal is not always easy. While some days I am fortunate that the gratitude flows from my fingers until I fill nearly a page with all the fun activities I did that day that I was grateful for, other days, I find it challenging to even come up with one mite of positivity. I am not here to advocate a highlight reel of my life, as I know that each of our lives is intertwined with many hardships. Yet I am here to hold to the hope that even on the worst days, we are still blessed beyond measure. On those worse days, I revert back to the blessings that do not necessarily concern themselves with today, but that I continually take for granted – such as how grateful I am for my dog, or how much I love music. I go to sleep with a slightly lighter heart and the realization that tomorrow a better day with more entries will dawn.

Even though I have only a few pages left in the journal that I have kept for two years, I hope to continue expressing my gratitude about all the blessings I have received in my life. And no matter how your day looks like today, I encourage you to do the same. Join me in shifting your pessimistic outlook by counting your blessings rather than your downfalls. Journal memories of your adventures so that one day you can look back at them and remember how much fun you had. Write down sticky notes of compliments people have given you.

Follow in my footsteps of keeping a folder on my phone of screenshots of conversations that make your heart glow, or of making a movie every day of your fondest memory. Scribble down the texts, quotes, and memes that made you laugh uncontrollably, and make a playlist of the videos that bring joy to your life. Keep writing, until you have a collection of happy memories that you can review to remind yourself of the joy in your life that was there all along. Keep writing, so the next time that you have a bad day, you can choose to focus on the good.

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!

After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...

14. Some activities on my bucket list are...

This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...

What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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How To Know That You're In A New York State Of Mind

"New York is the city that other cities can only dream of being."


A New York State of Mind does not mean you reside in the city, it is a way of life that you live, in which only some people can handle. Here's how to know if you are in a New York State of Mind.

You've got goals, baby.

Setting your mind on your goals, knowing that you'll achieve them is the number one step. You'll do anything to pursue your goals, which is what any good New Yorker would do.

You're not afraid to be alone.

New York is one of the largest cities in the world, which might make it one of the most lonely. Being okay with being alone is a trait only some can hold.

You keep life moving at a fast pace.

You want to do things, and you want them now. Like the queen Ariana Grande says, "I want it, I got it."

You are accepting of all people.

People are people, and everyone deserves the same love as one another, and if you're in a New York State of Mind, you know that.

You know that failure is not an option.

If you fail at something, you don't just quit and give up, you simply find a new, and better way to do that task.

You stay authentic to yourself.

You know who you are, you don't need to prove yourself to anyone. If they appreciate you and want you in their corner, they should make that clear to you.

You have a plan for everything.

You are prepared for whatever is it that is coming at you.

You know the sky isn't the limit, because you're reaching for the stars.

People will think you're crazy, or your dreams are too big. If you're in the right state of mind, you simply ignore them. There's no point in dwelling on other people's thoughts, when you know what you want.

Possessing these personality traits, shows that you are in fact in a New York State of Mind. If you are, you're a bad ass who knows who you are and what you want, and you'll get it, no matter what obstacles life throws your way.

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