A week focused on being grateful must include the “Three Blessings” exercise. I’ve mentioned it before and here I go again because doing this will change your perspective. Gratitude and thanks have been frequent topics on this site and regular readers know how strongly exercising gratitude contributes to our overall well-being.
In Martin Seligman’s most recent book Flourish, he builds on the Positive Psychology movement with concrete, research-based activities each of us can do to not simply be happy, but to flourish.
Because we spend so much time focusing on the negative (we do, you aren’t alone on this one), taking time to focus on positive events in our lives helps to add balance. Ready to improve your well-being? Here’s what Seligman suggests:
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 or your computer to write about the events, but it is 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 ice cream 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 some ice cream, 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 “God was looking out for her” or “She did everything right during her pregnancy.”
Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week. It will get easier. The odds are that you will be less depressed, happier, and addicted to this exercise six months from now.
This activity is appropriately called the “Three Blessings” exercise. How wonderful to set aside time each day to count our blessings! We have so many…
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