I’ll make this quick… I started a new course on Positive Psychology today, and I won’t get into the details this time – save that for another post in the coming days… but I really wanted to share this exercise and hopefully some of you might join me in trying it for yourselves.
The course lecturer is Martin Seligman, and he’s written plenty of seminal books the topic and is often regarded as the founder of the field of Positive Psychology. Anyway, he suggested a really cool exercise which he says he started doing himself 15 years ago, and is still doing it!
The Exercise: Tonight and every night for the next seven days, before you go to sleep, write down three things that went well and why they went well.
They don’t have to be big things. They could be things like you had a really nice Caesar salad for dinner or you saw a beautiful sunset or you listened to a good lecture. So, write down three of those things that went well today and why they went well. That’s all there is to it.
According to Seligman, it turns out that a couple of remarkable things happen with this exercise:
- Firstly, six months later when you measure people, the ones who start this exercise have more life satisfaction and markedly less depression.
- Secondly, it’s addictive. One of the problems about psychology, dieting, cognitive therapy etc, is it’s just not fun. In a diet, after you lose the first 2-3kg many people stop doing it. The interesting thing about the three blessings exercise is, it’s fun to do and it takes you into a much nicer sleep.
Let me know how it goes!