The 6-minute journal. – By @LawrenceESlater
By Lawrence Slater
The 6-minute journal.
I have been doing the 6-minute journal for 3 weeks now. For those who do not know it is a journal that is meant to be filled in for 3 mins in the morning and 3 mins before you go to sleep. Mine is placed under my bed with a pen rested on top so I have no excuse when I wake up or go to sleep to spend the 3 mins completing it. Realistically, it is probably more like 2 mins in the morning and again in the evening…. The 4-minute journal. I have been fairly consistent with it but some days when you get to your room the first thing you want to do is just turn the light out and go to sleep.
Writing in a journal of this kind I have never really thought I needed to do. I think of my self as naturally a relaxed and positive person, but as Marc has been continually saying how highly he recommends it since the start of the year so I thought I should at least give it ago. I guess it is foolish to think there isn’t room for improvement in your life.
Each day starts with you filling in gratitude.
In the introduction to the journal, it describes how as humans we are naturally programmed to survive and look for threats, therefor have a constantly negative mindset. Practicing daily gratitude can apparently slowly turn this around. Wow, ok I’m now fully sold, this is something that can surely help everyone.
I can see now after doing this for a couple weeks how it really does affect your mood. The small everyday things that are normally unnoticed like having a hot shower in the morning or cycling to school become things that you really value and enjoy more. This also lets you forget or put to one side any worries.
I’ve also started sharing a gratitude journal with my girlfriend just on notes on our iPhones. It’s a shared note so I can read hers and she can read mine. I normally fill it in with the same few lines I have written in my journal but it’s nice when we are away from each other and share gratitude in this easy way. I think sharing this with someone else is really helpful, it makes you feel positive writing yours and reading theirs. It also means you hold each other accountable for filling it in daily.
The next few sections I find a little harder. They are ‘this is how I’ll make today great’, ‘positive affirmation’, ‘my good deed today’ and ‘how I’ll improve.’ I find it a challenge to not just repeat something I have written the previous days. Which is fine, but If I have the same how I’ll improve every day it looks and feels like I’m not improving much.
When writing in my good deed it does make me feel slightly guilty when I cannot think of anything. Sometimes I find myself really working my brain hard to find something that kind of passes as a good deed. When these flow straight out however it makes you feel great.
The final section is ‘great things I experienced today.’ This is I guess similar to gratitude and always really easy and enjoyable to fill in. I normally can’t help but smile when scribbling these down.