Three good things about your day
This is a great little exercise which I give to my hypnotherapy clients to do between sessions. Every night, perhaps at the end of your working day or before you go to bed, reflect over your day. But DON’T dwell on the negatives! We’re only interested in the positives in this exercise!
This simple exercise can be broken down in to three steps as follows:
1. Think of three things that went well for you during the day.
On some days, it may be more difficult to find three positive things that have happened but on these days it is especially important to do the exercise – you just might have to think outside the box a little more to come up with your three things – they can be big or small and THERE IS NO WRONG ANSWER!
2. Write them down.
This is important as it helps you to focus on the events and also gives you something to refer back to, to see how good your week has been on the whole.
3. For each good thing, reflect on what part you played at making this good thing happen.
This is another important part of the exercise as it contributes to your sense of perceived control and helps to boost your self-esteem and self-belief. Your role in some of these events may not always seem obvious to you, for example if your good thing was that the sunset was amazing today, you might think "what did you have to do with it?" Well, you noticed that it was a nice sunset so write that down!
This exercise is a positive psychology technique which has been tested by researchers, showing substantial results (1). This study showed increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms for up to six months in their participants. This does not mean that after six months the effects had worn off but simply that the participants were not followed beyond this point.
This increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms comes about because this technique trains your brain to think in a more positive way and gives you more perspective, helping to change those thought processes for good – so that you become a more naturally positive person.
(1) Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions, Seligman ME, Steen TA, Park N, Peterson C. American Psychologist. 2005 Jul-Aug ;60(5):410-21.