What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up? The dreaded meeting you have first thing in the morning? The argument you had with your spouse the night before? The to-do list that you barely put a dent in last weekend?
I won’t lie, I’m often guilty of rolling over and immediately scrolling through my phone with one eye open to check e-mails that came in overnight. And let’s get real, they’re rarely radiating with positivity are they? Instead, they usually get my mind racing in a million different directions of how to tackle to day ahead before I even start to think about breakfast. Then I picked up The Five Minute Journal and it has given me life, you guys. My mornings have suddenly transformed into a mindful wish list of what I want to achieve throughout the day and my nights are a peaceful reflection of my actions.
Created by York University grads Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas, The Five Minute Journal encourages readers to practice daily reflection for at least five minutes a day to focus on the positives in their lives rather than dwell on the negatives. Each morning starts by scribbling down thoughts for three reflections:
- I am grateful for…
- What would make today great…
- Daily affirmations – I am…
And each night ends with:
- Three amazing things that happened today…
- How could I have made today better?
Pretty easy, right? It’s incredible how much more of a conscious life you can lead just by taking five minutes out of your day to focus solely on yourself – what makes you amazing and how your actions can positively impact others. Happiness abounds, my friends.
Benefits of daily reflection
So what are the actual benefits of daily reflection? Besides taking some time out of your busy day to focus on yourself, the practice of daily reflection is scientifically proven to do the following:
Start your day on a happy note.
When your first action in the morning is to write out mindful affirmations, you’ll immediately feel more positive and confident about the day ahead.
Begin your day with a purpose.
Rather than have a million thoughts running though your head from checking e-mails at 6 a.m., setting goals first thing in the morning will give your day some focus.
Help you understand yourself better.
How much time do you actually take each day to step back and consider how your actions affected others or congratulate yourself on a job well done? Taking just five minutes for daily reflection will help you to connect with yourself on a deeper, personal level, without all the noise.
Reconcile any feelings of stress or anxiety.
If your mind is racing with how you did on a big presentation at work or how you could have better handled a disagreement with a friend, write it down. Releasing that stress by recognizing it and reconciling it will ease your mind and allow you to start the next day with a fresh perspective.
Help you sleep better.
Bringing closure to the day and writing down your thoughts and feelings will clear your mind and help you get a solid night of sleep. Because we all need a few more zzzzz’s, amirite?