A sentence a day keeps the doctor away! Here’s how a one-sentence gratitude diary, called a Most Memorable Experience journal or MME, can change your life and help you find the silver lining on bad days, and capture life’s little Kodak moments on good ones. Read on for the three easy moves to write your way to a more positive outlook.
1. Find your journal groove
Whether it’s a running Microsoft Word document, a handwritten journal, or just an email you send to yourself, figure out what format works best for your MME. Once you’ve picked a vestibule for recording that you love, you’re ready to start.
2. Pick a time to record your MME
Select a moment every day that works best for your routine to set aside for recording your MME. Since half the battle for keeping a diary is the commitment aspect, you should be excited to proceed with no fear since an MME is all about minimalism. Think back on your day, and contemplate the moment that was most moving.
3. Think small
On a bad day, zoning in on your MME focuses you to think about tiny moments (like that friendly stranger holding the door for you when you were carrying a heavy package). And on a good day, it’s a gentle reminder that it’s not always the big moments in life, like a job offer or wedding vow exchanges, that mean the most, but the tinier snapshots, like your best friend clinking beer glasses with you at dinner to proudly toast your new gig.
Not convinced? Just try it for a month, and see how you feel. After all, you can record an MME in less time than it takes to scroll through your Instagram feed. These three tiny steps can have a remarkable impact on your life. And best of all, once you’ve amassed a few months of MMEs, you’ll have your own private book of happy moments to reminisce over. This can cheer you up on crummy evenings or give you a reason to smile when you need some extra motivation to crush your work day.
So why does it work? Much research has linked journal-keeping to positive health outcomes, from improving mood to enhancing memory. (Just ask The New York Times.) It also may help with ushering in bouts of creativity and bringing in a heightened state of mindfulness throughout your day, even when you’re not 83 pages deep in your Google doc. Forcing yourself to write long entries or daily recaps can become more of a burden and stress than therapeutic exercise. By committing yourself to just one brief entry a day, you’re not only compelling yourself to funnel out the negative and focus on the bigger picture in a moment of daily reflection, but you’re also setting yourself up for continued practice since the task doesn’t seem daunting or intimidating.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go jot down how nice that kind bus driver was to wait an extra five seconds for me in the pouring rain today.