We all know how easy it is to get caught up in things that make you feel frustrated, angry, or disappointed. Next time you feel that way, try redirecting your attention to positive thoughts. By reflecting on three positive things that happened in your day—and considering what caused them—you shift your mindset to the sources of goodness in your life. This practice has been shown to increase happiness, reduce depression symptoms, and improve sleep quality.
Three Good Things is an evidence-based strategy where, at the end of the day, you reflect on or write down the things that went well. The items can be an everyday event like seeing a friend up to achieving an important milestone.
Used with children, this practice can be part of any bedtime routine. Simply look back on the day to notice three positive things that happened—that made them feel happy, smile, or laugh. Kids can talk about, draw, or journal their thoughts.
For older kids (and adults!), take five or ten minutes to write down three positive experiences or things that went well and then explain why they went well. Ask kids to describe how the experience made them feel at the time. If you need help to start the conversation, try:
- What good things happened today?
- What act of kindness did I give or receive today?
- What brought a smile to my face today?
- How did I make meaningful use of my time today?
- What support did I receive from another person today?
Whether you’re a child or an adult, you will find that doing this each night gets easier with practice and can make a real difference in how you feel. It will teach you to notice, remember, and cherish the good things in your life.
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