A-Z Challenge,  Journaling

Journaling: H is for Happiness

When I think of journaling, I often associate the process of getting the “bad stuff” out of my head. Emotional journaling promotes better mental and physical health. Seeing problems in black-and-white on the paper helps me think clearly about possible solutions.

However, we shouldn’t focus solely on the negative. It is important to use our journal to document the good times too.

In the past few years, the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has taken the world by storm. Netflix even created a video series focused on cleaning and organizing our homes. The author’s name has now become a verb: Marie Kondo-ing.

The essence of her message — keep only what sparks joy — is an important one. What sparks joy for you? Perhaps the objects which take space in your home, but also past seasons of life, people, and events.

By keeping track of joy in our journals, we may discover some memories that no longer serve us. If that is the case, do as Marie suggests: thank the experience for its service. Then let it go.


  • SuZan

    Yes, I agree we do need to analyze our real reasons for keeping our things (and our memories) because we do need the joy in our lives.

    However, like many other things, it can be taken to extremes. An example? The joke going around: “I’ve decided to only keep things that spark joy. So I threw out the electric bill.”

    Made me laugh.

    • Molly Totoro

      SO true… we must avoid extremes. Here’s a different example from Kondo herself ” only keep 30 books” Now THAT’S hysterical 🙂

  • Liz A.

    I love that part of it–thanking the thing before letting it go. I haven’t seen the series or read the book, but it’s in the zeitgeist, so I’ve heard a bit about it. Interesting how this has become a thing now.

    • Molly Totoro

      Thanks for stopping by Liz!
      I think the whole “minimalist” movement is popular now. Not that what it proposes is new information, necessarily, but it is counter to what many of us have practiced over the years. Keeping up with the Jones’ is out … Tiny house living (or minimalism) is in. And, I guess I would add, collecting experiences rather than stuff is encouraged. I’ve always been a proponent of that philosophy 🙂

    • Molly Totoro

      You make a great distinction, Lisa.
      Sometimes the toughest times in life are the most beneficial. We must guard against only pursuing happiness, but also what is instructional and character-building.

      Hmmm… I think this is a great prompt for today’s journaling session!

    • Molly Totoro

      LOVE this, Pradeep! Positivity does beget more positivity. And I do believe we have a choice in how we react to life. I’m trying to train my brain (through gratitude journaling) that I do not have to dwell on the negative.

  • Pat

    I do journal my emotional health often… the positive and the negative. And try and create activities that will being more happiness into my life. I’ve updated my Jolts of Joy list (had this idea list before Kondo’s book!) a few times and often refer to it if I’m feeling low. Last week I went out and bought a bath bomb and took a bath (had a few days in a row of negative spirals).

    • Molly Totoro

      Jolts of Joy list … how did I miss this concept, Pat?! I will have to begin one of those lists myself! And quite honestly, at the top of the list would be a long soaking bath (with perhaps a glass of chardonnay). Thanks for the GREAT tip!

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