Have you ever gone to bed at night worried about family or work, only to wake up in the morning still stressed?
When life gets stressful, it can be hard to change your situation. There's a simple habit, though, that can quickly change your mood and your viewpoint.
All you need to do is think of three good things that happened that day.
Three Good Things
Pick a time to practice this habit. Many people like to do it at bedtime.
Then, think of three good things that happened that day.
Some days will be easy. Maybe you got a good review at work or caught up with a friend.
Some days it will be hard to think of three things. Remember that even the smallest things count. The sun was shining during your commute, you wore your favorite shirt, or ate a delicious piece of fruit. Nothing is too small to note.
Write It Down
Each day, make a list of the three things that you are grateful for. Write down what happened, how it made you feel, and why.
Your list can be in a notebook, on your phone, or even on scraps of paper. Your list can be long or short, typed or handwritten, poetic or straightforward.
Make it your own! Check out two examples below.
Today around 4:00, Sylvia brought me a chocolate at my desk. It was a small thing, but her kindness touched me deeply. Though we don't work in the same department anymore, it's nice to know we can stay connected.
Saw a pretty bird - made me think of Mom
Got a thumbs up from boss - felt proud
Had noodles for dinner - delicious
Which of the following would be a good entry for 3 Good Things?
Review your old lists often. Reread it when you feel down or stressed.
This can be as simple as skimming through your lists to read a few entries. It could be as regimented as setting up a time each week to read through the week, and write a paragraph or two. Just skimming your lists can improve your mood!
Miguel has been feeling down and wants to reflect on the good things in his life. Which would be a good action for him to take?
It may seem too simple to be true, but practicing gratitude has been proving to increase happiness, even if your situation hasn't changed at all. Acknowledging the good things in your life is an easy way to practice gratitude.