Creating Your Happiness: Positive Psychology Exercises that WORK.

*** Reference to the novel, “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding Of Happiness and Wellbeing” by Martin E. P. Seligman ***

“We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savoring what went WELL.

For sound evolutionary reasons, most of us are not nearly as good at dwelling on good events as we are at analyzing the bad ones. Those of our ancestors who spent a lot of time basking in the sunshine of good events, when they should have been preparing for a disaster did not survive the Ice Age. So to overcome our brains’ natural catastrophic bent, we need to work on and practice this skill of thinking about what went well.”  The mind is a muscle that needs exercise just like all the others in the body. The more you train the brain to think positive the stronger it will get on focusing on the good in life. And  since positive thoughts inspire positive results, by training your brain in this way you will bring more happiness into your life.

Is your brain ready to train??? Here is one simple exercise that will strengthen your mind, decrease depression, increase wellbeing,  and help you create more happiness in your life.

“The What Went Well Exercise” (Also known as the “Three Blessings”)

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. You may use a journal, your computer, or even your i phone to write about the events, but it’s important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (“My husband picked up my favorite treat for dessert on the way home from work today”), but they can be important (“My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”).

Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?” For example, if you wrote that your husband picked up your favorite treat, write, “because my husband is really thoughtful sometimes” or “because I remembered to call him from work and remind him to stop by the grocery store. Or if you wrote, “My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”, you might pick as the cause, “She did everything right during her pregnancy” or “God was looking out for her”.

Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but stay open to it and stick with the challenge for ONE week. It will get easier. And odds are you’ll find yourself happier, less depressed, and totally addicted to this exercise three months from now.

Trust me when I say, I take my own medicine. I have repeated this exercise (along with the Gratitude Journal) often throughout my life to improve my wellbeing and happiness. These exercises WORK. And it is always astonishing to see such dramatic results from the simplest of actions.

This challenge might not make your butt stronger…. but I can guarantee you it will make you happier. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Start today journaling what went WELL. Let me know if you have any questions and update me on your progress. Im really excited for you to try this exercise and I cant wait to see the positive things that happen as a result.

Hope you have a wonderful week filled with lots of POSITIVE moments! Hope to see you soon for a workshop or workout. Till next time…. keep shining 🙂

With Gratitude,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out This Week:  

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