Happiness is something we all seek. We want to be happy and enjoy the people we care about to be happy. Happiness isn’t easy to define. It’s a feeling that eludes us most of the time. We try to find happiness in worldly things, but it’s a false kind of happiness that never lasts. There are other ways of finding happiness, and this is by using journal writing.

The Happiness Project

A few years ago, I read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, which chronicles her year-long study in the meaning and sources of happiness and what philosophers and thinkers have written about the topic.

I didn’t read her book because I felt unhappy, but I was curious about what happiness means. I wondered whether happiness is different from being content or joyful. Is not feeling happy for several days a problem, or is it a part of life?

Gretchen’s book provided helpful insight about happiness, but I wanted to explore for myself what it means. So I turned to journal writing to create my own “happiness project.”

After I finished reading her book, I started creating journal writing prompts about happiness, and then I spent a month writing daily responses to those prompts. Along the way, I learned more about myself and what happiness means to me.

The Happiness Journal

If you’re a subscriber to this blog, you probably know that I have published two journaling books that include prompts for the National Journal Writing Month months.

91-page journaling book

Amazon’s publishing tools make it easy to publish books and make them available for print-on-demand. So I’m pleased to announce the release of The Happiness Journal: 32 Original Writing Prompts to Explore What It Means To Be Happy.

The book consists of two blank-lined pages for each journal prompt and quotes about happiness by writers and artists.

The prompts are inspired by but not based on Rubin’s book. The journaling book is divided into three sections: The Meaning of Happiness, The Challenges of Happiness, and Maintaining Happiness.

Each prompt allows for up to two pages of writing and reflection. I intentionally put each prompt on the right-side pages so that it’s easier to start writing. Also, when flipping through the book, it’s easier to see the prompts and your responses on the right-side pages.

What I Discovered

Through my journal responses to the prompts, I learned that happiness is a choice. Not a choice to be happy. But an option to do the things that bring happiness. Happiness is found in the small stuff and the everyday moments. It is located in the memories you make and the times you spend with the people you love. Happiness is something that you can find anywhere, even in the simplest places.

Book Quality and Handwriting

What I most appreciate about the quality of KDP books is the durable binding. The pages don’t fall apart, and the 6″x9″ print size feels comfortable for writing.

Sample page for the Happiness Journal

For the last 20 years, I have kept a Day One digital journal, but starting with the release of my January NaJoWriMo book, Journaling for Personal Growth and Achieving Goals, I hand-wrote my responses.

I must admit that handwriting is a challenge for me because I type every day for all sorts of tasks, like writing this article.

But with handwriting my responses in a journaling book, I relish having journal entries contained in a book devoted a singular theme.

I tried several ink pens to find one comfortable enough for handwriting, and the ink didn’t bleed through the pages. After solving that challenge, it was enjoyable to open the book and write in it.

Take the Challenge

I invite you to take the challenge of working through the prompts of the Happiness Journal. You will learn more about yourself, and you will come away with a better sense of your meaning of happiness.

Some prompts ask you to write simple lists, while others may take one or two settings to explore. Notice I didn’t say “complete” because that’s the beauty of journal writing; you can explore your life, thoughts, worries, passions, and much more, and never have to feel that you exhausted the topic. You get in touch with yourself without feeling judged or censored.

Your Feedback

If you decide to order and complete the Happiness Journal, I hope you will write a positive review on the Amazon product page. I would love to get your feedback on the prompts or some questions I could have included.

The pursuit of happiness can sometimes be misguided. Instead of looking for pleasure in the material things in life, we should look within ourselves to find true happiness. Journaling is an easy way to express your inner thoughts, and it can often lead to feeling happier about yourself and the world around you.

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