Creating a happiness jar is a simple way to collect the best parts of your day, to recall those good moments, and to train your brain to look for more to be happy about.
What is a Happiness Jar?
The Happiness Jar is a straightforward concept, a project, and a practice started by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Her version of the happiness jar entails writing down your happiest moment from the day on a piece of paper and tossing it into a vessel of some sort. The goal is to keep you in the mindset of looking for good things during the day, and recognizing those things when they appear.
Keeping a happiness jar around is one of the quickest practices you can maintain, and I think it’s worth it. There’s a certain joy in discovering a good moment in the day, because even bad days have not-so-bad aspects that we can be thankful for. And recording those good moments makes them last forever.
Think about those things you normally forget about or take for granted. The smallest blessings are often overlooked, but they’re worth looking at and they add up. Think about something that made you smile, or regain hope in some way, or experience a sense of peace–these are the kinds of things that can fill your happiness jar(s).
How to Make a Happiness Jar
This is your happiness jar. You can put whatever you like in the container of your choosing; the vessel does not matter. I bought a glass jar shaped like a pumpkin for $2 at a thrift shop, and that became my happiness jar! And I love it.
Decorate your jar (or not) however you like. You can use pretty, colored paper or just tear out scraps of old notebook paper. You can label your jar or leave it as is. You can give it a theme or keep it generic. This is your creation and it’s meant to resemble what makes you happy.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about the content of your happiness jar–things you can look for in your day and write down:
- Things you’re grateful for today
- Good things that happened today
- Random acts of kindness you partook in, either as the giver, receiver, or observer
- Words of encouragement
- Reasons why life is beautiful and good
- Inspirational quotes
- Positive affirmations
- A moment of the day where you felt at peace
- Any thought that makes you smile
One small positive thought a day can change your entire life.
You can contribute one positive thought a day to your jar, or as many as you like. You can keep your thoughts neatly folded on a piece of paper and let them be, or pull out a slip of paper on a dreary day when you need a little sunshine. You can keep your happiness jar personal and to yourself, and you can even create a communal happiness jar that the whole family/workplace/group of friends can contribute to and pull from.
Always Look for the Good
The purpose of your happiness jar is to remind you that life is good and there is something good in every day, if you keep opening your eyes to it all. Your mind is a powerful thing; fill it with negative thoughts, or fill it with positive thoughts–do either, and your life will adjust accordingly.
Positive thinking evokes more energy, more optimism, more joy, more gratitude, more love, and more connection. By expressing something positive in writing, we let the moment sink into our emotional state. We don’t just remember it; we really feel it. From there, we can let these feelings pour over into our actions and create more meaningful moments in our days.
A happiness jar will help you practice happy thinking every day. It can encourage you to keep your face turned to the sun, to let go of the shadows that fall behind you, to accept whatever comes your way today, to spot the opportunity in the struggle, and to believe that whatever happens is the best for this moment.
Do you own a happiness jar, or are you interested in creating one? Do you have any happy thoughts, words of encouragement, positive quotes or affirmations, or any other inspiring words that belong in a happiness jar? Please share your thoughts in the comments.. I’d love to hear what you think!
Share this post with someone who might be interested in making their own happiness jar.
“Instead of looking at what’s depressing, look at what’s a blessing.” – Kristen Butler