Journaling can feel great...and lead to great things!
We all know journaling is good for us, but do you ever feel like you’re writing the same things over and over? Do you ever close your notebook and not feel any better?
HAPPE is a journaling method designed to help you write about the life you want to live—and start experiencing it TODAY, no waiting around!
What You Need
Grab a pen or pencil and a piece of paper. That’s it! Don’t worry about finding the perfect journal; this will literally work on the back of an envelope. Ideally, find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for 10 minutes.
Watch this quick video!
This is a quick explanation of HAPPE so you can get started. This video will help make sense of everything you're about to read on the rest of the page.
HAPPE has been featured in the Wall Street Journal!
I encourage people to start with their “ideal day.” Reflect on this day, using the following questions as guideposts. (This is just a warm-up to get you thinking; don’t worry, we’ll start writing soon.)
- What is happening in this day?
- What brings you delight, what do you enjoy?
- Who is with you?
- What kinds of things do you see around you?
- What do you smell, taste, and touch?
- Most importantly, how do you feel?
Remember to keep this focused on you and your actions/feelings. This is all about focusing on your story—not hoping someone else will change.
Now, write about your day using the HAPPE technique!
H — First, write about your ideal day by hand. The reason we do this is because when we connect our thoughts to a physical action, it’s more likely to stick. Plus, when we hand write, we slow down enough for our brain to actually be able to process and absorb what we’re telling it. And we DEFINITELY want our brains to absorb everything about this ideal day.
A — Next, you want to write about your vision as if it’s happening now. Instead of writing about that ideal day like it might arrive someday, write about it as if it’s here. If you dream of living by the beach, write about how you can hear the ocean waves when you have coffee in the morning, and the way the fresh flowers smell. Avoid words like “will” or “someday” or “if” and just write about your ideal day like it’s already here in the present tense. Add in as much detail and make it as specific as you can! Really put your five senses into it, especially how you FEEL.
P — You also want to keep the writing positive. So instead of writing about how, in your ideal day, you don’t eat too many Oreos (speaking from experience here, lol) you’d write instead about how you fuel yourself with healthy food. This is important because when we write in the negative, our brain doesn’t always catch the negative part. It just sees “eat the Oreos!” So we want to keep things on the sunny side.
P — We’re also going to write in the third person. This means that instead of writing “I have a job I love,” I’d write, “LARA has a job she loves.” This strategy is important because not only does it make us the main character in the story of our lives (yay!), it also creates something called cognitive distance. That essentially means our brains are more likely to accept the narrative because it thinks we’re talking about a friend, and that makes it more believable.
E — When you’ve written for about 5 minutes, set down your pen. Close your notebook. Then pick one emotion that came through when you wrote about your ideal day. It could be peace or joy. It could be freedom or gratitude. Now, close your eyes and feel that emotion. Allow yourself to begin to experience it, ideally for 3 minutes. This part is critical because it ensures our stories aren’t just some far-off thing that we hope will happen … we begin to make them real by truly embodying them and feeling them NOW. This trains your mind and body to align itself with this new reality, to begin to create it and live it, and that creates huge shifts in your awareness and energy.
Need some help with the Emotion step? See below!
Extra "E" help for you ...
I’ve created a free HAPPE meditation for you. It’s just a few minutes long, designed to help you really begin to experience the beautiful, positive emotions on the page. Get instant access.
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