A Simple Exercise to Increase Well-Being

Camino_entre_el_bosque_de_cerezos_en_flor

We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savoring what went well.

For sound evolutionary reasons, most of us are not nearly as good at dwelling on good events as we are at analyzing bad events. Those of our ancestors who spent a lot of time basking in the sunshine of good events, when they should have been preparing for disaster, did not survive the Ice Age. So to overcome our brains’ natural catastrophic bent, we need to work on and practice this skill of thinking about what went well.

-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. 

-Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?” Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week.

(A Simple Exercise to Increase Well-Being and Lower Depression from Martin Seligman, Founding Father of Positive Psychology)

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “A Simple Exercise to Increase Well-Being

  1. Pingback: Positive Thinking Vs Negative Thinking | RaiseYourself

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s