Three Good Things Each Day
Each day before going to bed take a few minutes for gratitude. Before I made this practice a daily ritual I typically went to sleep focusing on either self-critical thoughts or planning, which both tended to keep my mind overly busy. That has all changed. Now by practicing gratitude, I experience my compassionate soothing emotional system blossoming relaxing my mind and body which helps me drift off to sleep. Try it yourself for a week and see what you notice.
HOW TO DO IT – 5-10 minutes/day for one week.
(source Greater Good: http://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/three-good-things)
Each day for at least one week, write down three things that went well for you that day, and provide an explanation for why they went well. It is important to create a physical record of your items by writing them down; it is not enough simply to do this exercise in your head. The items can be relatively small in importance (e.g., “my co-worker made the coffee today”) or relatively large (e.g., “I earned a big promotion”). To make this exercise part of your daily routine, some find that writing before bed is helpful.
As you write, follow these instructions:
- Give the event a title (e.g., “co-worker complimented my work on a project”)
- Write down exactly what happened in as much detail as possible, including what you did or said and, if others were involved, what they did or said.
- Include how this event made you feel at the time and how this event made you feel later (including now, as you remember it).
- Explain what you think caused this event—why it came to pass.
- Use whatever writing style you please, and do not worry about perfect grammar and spelling. Use as much detail as you’d like.
- If you find yourself focusing on negative feelings, refocus your mind on the good event and the positive feelings that came with it. This can take effort but gets easier with practice and can make a real difference in how you feel.