What is a joy jar and why should you have one?

I keep my joy jar in the dining room next to a purple felt tip pen and a retro brown plastic cube that holds little squares of coloured paper.

When good things happen, both small and big I write them down and put them in the jar. Then at the end of the year I pull out all the notes and re-read them to remind me how good the year has actually been.

Because, did you know the brain is more likely to remember negative events more easily than positive?

Some psychologists think it’s a quirk of evolution.

It’s more important for your survival to remember which bush has the berries that make you sick than the bush that has the beautiful flowers. This is often referred to as the negativity bias.

Another feature of the negativity bias is that negative events register in our brains more strongly than positive ones. So the joy that comes from winning £50 is less than the pain of losing it.

That means if you want to balance our your negativity bias you need deliberately spend time thinking about the positive experiences in your life. For every one negative experience you need to balance it with five positive ones.

That’s where the joy jar can come in very useful. Not only do you get the benefit of reliving your positive experiences as you write them down, you also have a visual representation of them adding up over time.

I can’t say for sure if it will work for you, it might, it might not.

I can guarantee that you have nothing to lose except your negativity bias.

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