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  • Sherry

#3 Good Things

Psychologist Rick Hanson is fond of saying, "The mind is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones."

Our negativity bias stems from our evolutionary history when it was important to remember which berries were poisonous, which animals wanted to eat us and which shelter left us exposed to the harsh elements. Those who were more attuned to danger and who paid more attention to the bad things around them were more likely to survive.

Three Good Things is a simple practice that counters the negativity bias by having you recall positive experiences from your day. Each night before bed, think back on your day and recall 3 things that made you feel good. They can be small, like finding the last parking spot on a busy downtown street, or bigger like putting the finishing touches on a big work project. In our current reality it might be seeing a friend or family member even if you have to maintain physical distance or meet over Zoom. As you recall each experience, take a few moments to reflect on what was good about it and savor those feelings.

Take the practice one step further by writing your 3 Good Things in a journal. Writing further imprints the experience, and having a journal of good things is a great resource to look back on when you're feeling down and need a boost of positivity. Another option would be to share your 3 Good Things with your spouse, partner, child, or other loved one. When my boys were younger, I would ask them to share 3 good things as part of our bedtime tuck in routine.

Do you tend to focus on or more easily recall negative experiences? What might happen if you were to regularly appreciate the good stuff? 

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