Friday, October 10, 2014

Achieving Your Potential with Positive Psychology - Tim's Tip for the Week - Try simple and effective things to increase happiness

In previous articles, I have suggested that in order to Achieve your Potential with Positive Psychology you can get into the personal development habit  and  value happiness.

Putting these two ideas together, would it be a good idea to spend the time you devote to personal development on increasing happiness.
You can find a lot of evidence-based simple exercises in Achieve Your Potential...

Here I will describe my version of one of the simplest ideas, which is also one of my favourites. It's called "Three Good Things in Life" or "Three Good Things"

Three Good Things in Life - Adapted from Martin Seligman

Each night  for one week, write down three things that went well that day.
In addition to writing three things that went well, reflect on what you did that contributed to the good thing happening, directly or indirectly.

Do not set the bar too high – the good thing doesn’t have to be that you won the Nobel Prize!
Remember that how you caused the good thing can be indirect

Some examples

1)     I went for a nice walk at lunch instead of snacking at my desk - I made a deliberate decision
2) I had a nice chat with my friend – at first I was tempted to say I didnt contribute to this, because she called me - then I realised that over the years I have done plenty to build and maintain this friendship  
3)      The sun shone today – I noticed it!

Research has shown that a significant number of people who try this for just a week are happier and less depressed at 6 month follow up. Why? It helps us focus on the positive, feel more optimistic and we may start to plan to do more of the good things. Not a bad pay-off for an exercise that takes less than 5 minutes ...

Have a wonder-full day, today and everyday