“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 thinking about and savouring what went well” (Seligman, 2011, pg 33).
Regularly practicing the ‘What Went Well?’ exercise that focuses on recording three positives in your day has been shown to improve wellbeing and reduce anxiety and depression up to six months after doing it.
The process itself is simple – it just involves writing down three things that you are grateful for and why you are grateful for them before you go to bed each night for a week. An example might be ‘I had a great day at work‘ followed by the reason ‘My boss is a fantastic woman’ or ‘I had a great time at rugby training tonight’ with the reason ‘The guys on the team are a bunch of characters.’
If you really can’t think of anything, consider this…
“If you have a family that loves you, a few good friends, food on your table and a roof over your head, you are richer than you think.”