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Three Good Things

Three Good Things is an exercise that has been associated with increased levels of happiness and well-being. Here is how you do it:

Each night before you go to sleep:

  • Think of three good things that happened today
  • Write them down
  • Reflect on your role in why they happened              

It works best if you do it every night for 2 weeks, within 2 hours of sleep onset. It might also be helpful to let your friends or family know that you’re doing it. Sometimes they can help you identify a role you played in bringing a good thing about that you may have not recognized.

They don’t have to be big things – anything that that happened over the course of the day made you feel grateful, proud, happy, or even just less stressed inside. Then consider why it happened. Especially consider your role in the good thing. Don’t be afraid to give yourself credit!

It is important to do the exercise in the same document every night. This way you can look back on past entries and recall some of the good things (big and small) that made you happy.

This exercise was developed by a gentleman named Martin Seligman. This is a link to a short interview of Dr. Seligman talking about Three Good Things.

 

Bolier L, Haverman M, Westerhof G, Riper, H et. al. Positive psychology interventions: a meta—analysis of randomized controlled studies. BMC Public health 2013, 13:119

Seligman, M, Steen T, Park N and Peterson, C.  Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. Am psychol 2005 July – August;60 (5):410 – 421