We talk about gratitude alot- in life and definitely in terms of positive psychology. Whenever I hear the word "gratitude"- it conjurs up either visions of awkwardly going around the dinner table at Thanksgiving and declaring what we are thankful for, or writing a "gratitude journal". I have never been one for journaling, it's just never been my thing, and not for lack of trying. But the idea of gratitude, and really appreciating what is going right in your life, is something I am aware that I need to work on. Because as times get tough, we often think only of the negative, whereas in reality so many positive things are going on we often just take for granted.
This article talks about what has been called the "3 blessings exercise" - or as they refer to it here "what went well" exercise. This is something I try to do every night - in my head- before I go to sleep (in the article she suggests writing it down, or having a family discussion at the dinner table). The gist is, every day pick 3 things that went well in your life, and why they made you feel good. Her example in the article:
I enjoyed a wonderful supper with my family. Why? Because I took the time to prepare the food; I like to cook; nourishing others makes me happy; I feel happy and content when I am with my family. I enjoyed the latté I purchased today. Why? Because I love a good coffee; I like the smell in the coffee shop; treating myself makes me feel special; it was nice to run errands with a yummy coffee; because I love myself (too much?!). I felt so good after my meditation. Why? I feel good in the peaceful stillness; I created the time and space for it to happen.
It has been shown that positive feelings about your life will increase if you put this into practice. So try it tonight!