I’ve been reading about the science of flourishing, much of which is based on work done in the field of “positive psychology.” The general idea is to focus on our strengths and build on them, rather than dwelling on our flaws and vulnerabilities.
One fruitful exercise is called “Three Blessings”, or “What Went Well.” Here’s how it goes:
“Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. You may use a journal or your computer to write about the events, but it is important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (‘My husband picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today’), but they can be important (‘My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy’). Next to each positive event, answer the question ‘Why did this happen?’ For example, if you wrote that your husband picked up ice cream, write ‘because my husband is really thoughtful sometimes’ or ‘because I remembered to call him from work and remind him to stop by the grocery store.’”
If you do this regularly, it is supposed to reduce depression and anxiety — and remind you to feel thankful, another key to happiness. So I’m going to try to do this on my blog, at least weekly, on “What Went Well Wednesdays.” Serenity now!