Your First and Last 5 Minutes

How do you spend the first and last 5 minutes of your day? For most of us, our time is spent checking missed messages, scrolling through social media, watching Netflix, or thinking about everything we miserably failed at throughout the week. What if shifting your focus for 10 minutes a day could improve your happiness, increase productivity, foster gratitude, and produce positive change? No, it’s not magic! It’s something positive psychologists have discovered, recognizing that it’s better for us to focus on positive behavioral traits as opposed to everything that’s going wrong (which is what we tend to focus on).

What’s the power behind your first and last 5 minutes?

The power rests in your ability to focus on the good. How many days out of the week do you pause to think about everything you’re grateful for? Like, really take a few minutes and just rest in thankfulness? It may not seem like that important of a practice, but science says otherwise. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Davis launched a multi-year project expanding the science and practice of gratitude and found that keeping a gratitude journal resulted in higher levels of positive emotion, a stronger immune system, acting with more generosity and compassion, reduction in feeling lonely and isolated, and an increase in joy, optimism, and happiness. Starting your day with gratitude and ending it with remembering some things that went amazingly well, can dramatically influence your life.

How can you successfully master this practice?

All it takes is faithful dedication and The Five-Minute Journal. For only $23, you can buy your very own Five-Minute Journal, which includes a daily inspirational quote or challenge and a set of open ended questions to get you thinking during your morning and night routine. The journal also has a section where you can write down a daily affirmation such as, “I am confident and beautiful.” The journal won’t change your life, only a willingness to dedicate 10 thoughtful minutes a day will result in real, lasting change.

What I have personally discovered from writing in my Five-Minute Journal:

I was starting to feel a weird dissatisfaction at the end of my days. I wasn’t content with how my life was turning out or how I was feeling, no matter how much effort I put into creating the best day ever. I started off super optimistic, ready to implement some good life changes, but somehow fell short of my expectations when I evaluated my day before going to sleep. The Five-Minute Journal put the brakes on my dissatisfied perspective of life and refocused my mind to appreciate everything I wasn’t giving myself credit for. Before recognizing my own areas of weakness, I first acknowledged everything that went amazingly well. This change in perspective was so monumental for me, because it was only after I took the time to show gratitude for what I have and affirm the positive aspects of myself, that I was able to implement productive change to make my days even better. So, instead of pushing myself to change out of guilt and frustration, I was motivated to change out of self-love.

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