3 Good Things
Gratitude is right at the core of our capacity to feel happiness, and even better news is you can get good at it! This “3 Good Things” exercise is one of the best and most solid science-based practices out there that can help you improve your happiness in the long term. Here are the instructions straight from the Greater Good Science Centre people at Berkeley UC.
Time Required: 10 minutes/day for at least one week.
How to Do It: Each day for at least one week, write down three things that went well for you that day, and provide an explanation for why they went well. It is important to create a physical record of your items by writing them down; it is not enough to simply do this exercise in your head. The items can be relatively small in importance (e.g., “my coworker made the coffee today”) or relatively large (e.g., “I earned a big promotion”). To make this exercise part of your daily routine, some find that writing before bed is helpful.
As you write, follow these instructions:
Give the event a title (e.g., “my manager complimented my work on a project”)
Write down exactly what happened in as much detail as possible, including what you did or said and, if others were involved, what they did or said.
Include how this event made you feel at the time and how this event made you feel later (including now, as you remember it).
Explain what you think caused this event—why it came to pass.
Use whatever writing style you please, and do not worry about perfect grammar and spelling. Use as much detail as you'd like.
If you find yourself focusing on negative feelings, refocus your mind on the good event and the positive feelings that came with it. This can take effort but gets easier with practice and can make a real difference in how you feel.
WHY IS IT GOOD?
This simple exercise strengthens your ability to pay attention, savour and remember those positive things, big or small, that happen everyday, pushing back against the natural tendency to notice the bad things.
There’s scientific evidence that it helps improving long-lasting happiness.
As mentioned above, the events do not need to be grandiose, in fact you will find how good it is to rediscover the small daily pleasures of life, like:
Someone held the door for you.
You found that dear, old college t-shirt thought you lost months ago.
You apologised to your partner for blaming them about the t-shirt and resulted in an strengthened bond between the two of you.
The guy in the coffee shop gave you a cookie.
You took several deep breaths and felt alive… it really can’t get any simpler.
You caught a whiff of that specific flower that took you straight to when you were 8, an adapted version of Proust’s muffin.
EXTRA BROWNIE POINTS
Get a 3 Good Things Buddy and share some (or all) of the things you’re both grateful for.
Enjoy your daily dose of good things!
Please help us spread happiness by sharing the boosters!
See you next week!