OPTION 1: THE THREE BLESSINGS
- Write down three things that went well today. They can be big things (“I proposed to the love of my life and she said yes”), or simple everyday things (‘my daughter gave me a hug and kiss before leaving for school’).
- For each of the three things, answer the question ‘Why did this happen?’ Make tonight your first night. Keep track of how your lens on life and general mood change over time. And, as Lyubomirsky suggests, experiment a bit to find the perfect frequency for you.
Start out daily for a week. If that feels good and it’s moving your mindset needle, keep it up. If not, explore once a week, twice a month, or whatever feels right for you.
OPTION 2—THE GRATITUDE VISIT
- This will take a bit more work, but Seligman’s research showed that a single experience can create changes in mindset that are still there a month later. Look back on your life and think of someone who made a difference to you. It could have been someone who helped you out when you were in need, someone who encouraged you or taught you something. It should be someone you never thanked, and someone who is close enough for you to visit in person.
- Next, write a letter to that person describing, in specifics, what they did for you and how it affected you. Share what you’re up to now and let them know how often you revisit their kindness. It should be a full page, or about 300 words.
- Now here’s where it gets fun, and also where it might challenge you a bit. Do it anyway. Call the person up and tell them you’d love to stop by to say a quick hello. Don’t tell them exactly why you’re coming. You want to keep it a surprise, if you can. Then go visit your person and read your letter to them, face-to-face.
When you return home, spend a few minutes journaling about how the experience went and how it made you feel.
How To Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields is out now jonathanfields.com
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