Saturday, January 2, 2016

Blogging for Books: Instant Happy Journal by Karen Salmansohn

A couple of years ago, I kept a gratitude journal and it got me through a depressing winter. I needed to pick the habit up again so I requested the Instant Happy Journal by Karen Salmansohn through Blogging for Books

About Instant Happy Journal
Brighten your day with this colorful journal from happiness expert Karen Salmansohn. Jam-packed with 365 “happiness prompters” including motivational quotes, scientific studies, and thought-provoking questions, this journal amps up your ability to notice (and create!) moments of joy and gratitude in your life—one day at a time.
A little background on the author
Salmansohn speaks widely on how to increase happiness, creativity, and productivity, most recently in a TEDx talk, “Fun Is a High Performance Fuel.”
An excerpt from the first couple pages of the journal:

My mission: to help you to live your happiest life.
My strategy: I’ve filled the pages of this Instant Happy Journal with what I call “happiness prompters”—a range of motivational quotes, thought-provoking questions, scientific research studies, and soul-stirring philosophical thoughts. Each page’s happiness prompter is meant to inspire you to reflect and focus on where the most joy, appreciation, and love can be found in your day (and your life).

This journal also has fill-in dates so you can reflect and write at your own pace. Feel free to write either in the morning (to set an intention) or at day’s end (to share a reflection).
Many of the happiness prompters are ones I use with my family. For example, in my home we have one of my Instant Happy posters displayed on the inner side of our front door, which we 
read every day:

“Something awesome is going to happen today. I can’t wait to see what it will be.” 
Having this happiness prompter in our faces on a daily basis reminds us to be what I call “awesome seekers.”

Keeping this quote in mind helps us tune into the frequency of awesome—and to perk up and appreciate what’s happy in our day. Being an awesome seeker has been shown to increase happiness—in particular, when the awesomeness sought gets recorded in a journal. In a recent study, University of California researchers divided participants into three groups. The first wrote once a week in a journal about five awesome things they were grateful for. The second described five daily hassles. The third listed five random events. The results? Those in the first journal group reported an increase in happiness, more optimism about their future, and more improvement in health problems than those in the other two groups.

The Instant Happy Journal you now hold in your hands is filled with 365 different happiness prompters. Each one will inspire you in a variety of ways to be an awesome seeker—paying mindful attention to all the good people and good events your life is blessed with! (And mindfully reframing those less-good challenges.) 

With this Instant Happy Journal, day by day (or night by night) you will train your brain to focus on where the most inspiration, gratitude, and joy are to be found. Soon you will say farewell forever to a glass-half-empty mindset and say hello to a new awesome-seeker mentality.

My thoughts: I have used the journal for a week and love the routine of looking for positive things to journal about. This routine will be especially beneficial once I go back to work next week (vs. being on a relaxing vacation week without any stressors). While journaling, I share prompts with Craig to have him also reflect on his day and it's been fun to hear his perspectives. I look forward to keeping Salmansohn's journal bedside throughout 2016 to inspire me to be a happier, more positive person. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

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