The Best 5 Minutes of Your Day: Five-Minute Journal Review

by Auriel

If you’re anything like me, you have more than a few mostly empty journals laying around.  It’s almost impossible to resist those cute and colorful notebooks with the inspirational quotes at Marshals.  It’s also almost impossible for me to keep up with writing in these journals for any stretch of time.

If you’re a professional when it comes to consistent writing and you have stacks of completed journals, I envy you!  For years I’ve made valiant attempts at keeping a journal and failed.

I love the idea of it…

Recapping important events.

Processing your thoughts and feelings.

Tracking your goals and accomplishments.

Keeping memories to look back on later in life.

Not only does journaling seem like a good idea, according to science, it really is. Regular journaling has been shown to improve mental health, memory, productivity, creativity, mindfulness, communication, emotional intelligence, sleep and the list goes on.  

If you’re someone like me who would love to add the practice of journaling to your daily routine, but has struggled to make the habit stick, let me introduce you to the Five-Minute Journal.

I’ve been using it for almost a year and have been able to keep up with it and stay (mostly) consistent. It’s been a great addition to my morning and evening routine. It’s become a self-care ritual and I highly recommend it!

This journal is perfect for anyone looking for

  • A quick, yet meaningful way to practice journaling
  • A tool for mindfulness and intentional living
  • More happiness and optimism in their daily life

Sound like you? Keep reading to learn all about the Five-Minute Journal and why you have to try it!

Happier in Five Minutes?

According to its creators, the Five-Minute Journal is “the simplest, most effective thing you can do every day to be happier.”  The journal’s structured design is rooted in positive psychology research with a focus on gratitude.

And that is the key!  Practicing gratitude has been shown to have transformative effects.  Studies show that gratitude:

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Improves physical and psychological health
  • Increases empathy and reduces aggression
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Builds self-esteem
  • Increases mental strength

The Five-Minute Journal makes gratitude and positivity a daily habit.  I’m not a morning person…whatsoever, but thinking about everything I have to be grateful for and the things I’m looking forward to first thing in the morning definitely leaves me in a better mood and feeling more optimistic about the day ahead.

Similarly, writing at night allows me to remember the good moments of my day and focus on the things that I have the power to control.

So does it actually make you happier in five minutes?  Obviously, this is not a magic journal and won’t solve all of your problems in one sitting.  But for me, I can definitely say that it’s drastically improved my outlook and optimism. It’s made me more self-aware and intentional in my daily life. And without question, all of those things have helped make me a happier person.

How It Works

Each page of the Five-Minute Journal represents a day and is divided into two parts, a morning and night routine.

Every morning you’re given an inspirational quote or a fun weekly challenge to start.  One of my favorites quotes is,

“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing,” Fred Shero.

So far my favorite challenge was to give a genuine compliment to a stranger.

Next, you’re prompted to list three things you’re grateful for, three things that would make today great, and one daily affirmation.

Before going to bed, you write down three amazing things that happened that day and how you could have made the day even better.

It’s really as simple as that and literally takes five minutes or less! It’s so easy to fit this practice into your morning and night time routines.  Take it from the worst journal writer ever… if I can do it, I know you can too!

Even though it’s quick and efficient, it’s still a very meaningful exercise.  It’s something that I’ve come to look forward to everyday and I immediately feel a shift in my mindset and a boost in my attitude.

The Benefits

My greatest takeaway from using the Five-Minute Journal is that mindset is everything.  I think we could all use a little more positivity in our lives and this journal definitely delivers that.

For anyone who wants to incorporate gratitude and mindfulness into their daily routine to increase overall happiness, I highly recommend it.  Whether you’ve been journaling for your whole life or new to the practice, I’m almost certain you’ll experience the benefits. But if you’re not quite sold, here are all the reasons that I love the Five-Minute Journal:

  • Fast, structured and to-the-point
  • Beautiful design
  • Positive start and end to every day
  • Inspirational daily quotes
  • Challenges that take you out of your comfort zone
  • Chance for self-reflection
  • Track progress and personal growth
  • Become more intentional
  • Promotes self-love and self-care
  • Increase gratitude
  • Become more optimistic
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Establish a positive daily ritual

I really love this journal, as you can see!  I’m not affiliated with the company in any way, just giving my honest opinion and experience. For more information, check out the website here.  It’s about $23 for the hardcover copy, but they even have an app for those who prefer to keep things digital.

Regular journaling, no matter what format you use, is a great habit and a useful tool to overcome stress and improve your quality of life.

Do you use the Five-Minute Journal or another type of journal regularly? What benefits have you experienced from this habit?

The five-minute journal

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