You will need a pen, paper and sixty seconds of silence, daily for one week.
Every night before you go to bed write down three things that went well that day and why. You can use a written journal, a laptop or the notes section in your phone, however it’s important to write them down.
If you’re having trouble thinking of three things that went well, you’re thinking too big picture! Something as simple as ‘today I got to work on time because I left the house ten minutes early and avoided the traffic’ will work. However, when big important things happen make sure to write them down too.
Writing about your positive events may seem a little awkward or uncomfortable at first but stick with it for one week, it will get easier and it’s proven to have huge benefits.
This exercise known as the What Went Well (WWW) journal is based on the research of Dr. Martin Seligman and his colleagues at the Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Pennsylvania.
Positive Psychology, a relatively new science, focuses on ‘what is going right’ with people and how to nurture and develop it. Positive Psychology is not a self-help movement based simply on ‘the power of positive thinking’, it’s a science backed by thousands of studies related to the question; how and why do people flourish?
We often spend a lot of our time thinking about what goes wrong and not enough thinking about what goes right in our lives. Although it is often helpful to analyse imperfect events so that we can learn from them and correct them in the future, we tend to spend way too much time focusing on the negative.
This is due to evolutionary reasons that have kept us alive during hard times, however in the 21st century, with very different threats to our survival, it is helpful re-train our mind to notice the good things too.
So give it a go!
Seligman promises that after doing this exercise for one week you will be happier, less depressed and will probably be addicted to the WWW journal.
If you want to read more about Positive Psychology click here.