I Write These 3 Things Everyday For A Happier Life
Mauritian sunshine streamed in through the kitchen windows, warming my body. Yet I still felt cold.
I sat at the wooden table in the vast kitchen that was way too big for me, yet too small to house the blanket of darkness that enveloped me, and I looked down into my bowl of oats, yoghurt and fresh mango from the tree just outside my window, and once again, I sighed.
I was surrounded by so much beauty and so much joy. Yet everything just felt so heavy.
Here I was, a new mum again for the second time in a new country that I still couldn’t call home 6 months later. My boobs hurt from breastfeeding. I was tired from breastfeeding. And I was hurt and tired from feeling so alone and so exhausted all the goddamn time.
I’d been here before, depressed I guess, but differently. It was that depression in fact that had led to what I call my spiritual awakening.
So why was I now feeling like this again? How could I be feeling like this again when I’d already experienced just how beautiful it was on the other side?
Scrolling YouTube later that day while the baby rocked away gently in her baby seat, I stumbled across a video about gratitude journaling for the first time. I can’t find that video anymore and I don’t even remember it too vividly, but it was about a middle-aged lady that wasn’t happy in life and had decided to keep a gratitude journal for 30 days, which completely changed her life.
That one video impacted me massively and it was this video that actually helped me to return to peace and presence and oneness – three things that had become obscured by the shadows blocking my sight at the time.
Here we are now, 4 years later, and from that one video that pretty much saved me at a very low point in my life, I’ve developed my own three-step daily writing practice that keeps me grounded, positive and happier.
Honestly, if I miss doing this once in a while (and I sometimes do because life, kids and everything else, right?), I really do feel the effects which is why I try my best to ensure I get this done every single day.
In the hopes that it could help you too, here’s what it looks like…
1. Gratitude Journalling
My daily writing practice begins – before breakfast – in an A5 notebook where I fill at least one page with all the things that I am grateful for in life.
This usually begins with me listing wonderful things that happened the day before, in the time between my last gratitude journaling session and this one. Whether I made another Etsy sale; whether another story was published in a Medium publication; whether it was time spent on the phone to a friend or an evening that went undisturbed by the children, I make sure I highlight my gratitude for that experience by writing it down.
I then also make sure I take time to write down seemingly ordinary things that we can very easily take for granted. Things like having full use of all five senses; having a fully functioning digestive system; being able to poo properly (because trust me, constipation, especially constipation in pregnancy is NO JOKE!)… I also give thanks for where I am currently in life, for nature and all she provides, and for always having God by my side, no matter what I’m going through in life.
There are many benefits of gratitude journaling which are actually even scientifically proven including the improvement of physical and psychological health, enhanced empathy, better sleep and improvement in self-esteem, which I definitely reap the rewards of.
And for me, doing this before I begin my day really helps to put me in a high-vibration state and also keeps me on the lookout for more miracles throughout the course of my day and more reasons to be grateful. Which in turn, helps me to attract more things to be grateful for.
2. Positive Affirmations
I then move on to the next stage of my daily writing practice which is writing positive affirmations. These affirmations are to the mind what exercise is to the body.
I fill a page with hand-written positive affirmations that are all written in the present tense, because keeping your affirmations in the present tense helps your subconscious mind to get to work on them straight away. They usually begin with “I am” or “I have”.
I use this practice of writing positive affirmations to help transform negative beliefs about myself and my life, and also to help attract the life that I desire.
I usually begin with “I am happy, healthy, wealthy and wise” and go on to include positive affirmations surrounding my health and wellness, my relationships, my career, my faith and my service to humanity.
If there is a goal I am particularly set on achieving, there are some periods where I will do an extra page of positive affirmations, affirming that I have already achieved that particular goal and writing it out 11 times. For me, there’s just something really powerful and mystical about the number 11 which is why I chose it, but you can choose whatever number you like!
To end, I enjoy reading over my positive affirmations and stating them out loud – which is a great way of tuning in to the Law of Attraction and helping to draw these things into your physical reality.
3. Daily Diary
And finally, this is the part where I literally vomit my thoughts on to paper but in a different (more sparkly) A5 notebook, this time.
This is the most therapeutic part of my daily writing practice where I let out anything that is on my mind or troubling me, or any dreams that I’d had the night before that I was still thinking about.
This notebook is the pillow that I scream into: it’s the place where I let the outpouring of all the things that I feel can’t be said out loud or shouldn’t be said out loud to escape on to the page before me.
It not only releases negativity from my mind, but helps me to process and evaluate certain thoughts or situations and to look at them from another perspective if need be.
This type of journaling, again, carries many health benefits, especially for those who live with mental health issues or depression. Keeping a diary like this can also help you to spot certain patterns, trends or growth which you can use to your advantage in the future.
I don’t limit myself to the amount I write or for the length of time I write. I just write and allow whatever is overflowing within my mind, body and soul to spill forth. The release is just such a wonderful feeling and helps me to remain calm, present and happy throughout the rest of my day.
I know there are many writing practices out there but after a few years of trial and error, this is what I have found works best for me.
If happiness, self-growth, personal development and mental and spiritual stability are important to you, I honestly believe that finding and developing your own daily writing practice can really contribute to the improvement of all of these things. It certainly did for me.
Stalina Goodwin writes in Make It Write!: Put Your Pain To Work Writing Journal:
“What you write has the power to save a life, sometimes that life is your own.”
And boy, do I feel that!
Writing has saved me far too many times for me to count and this writing practice saves me and makes my life a happier one, every single day.
This article was first published in Change Your Mind, Change Your Life – a Medium publication. If you’re on Medium too, why not give me a little follow there?😉