Want to improve your mood quickly and feel happier for up to six months? Or are you seeking an easy solution to lessen depression that lasts for several months?
Scientists have proven that writing three positive things per day can help depressed people feel better and help happy people stay happy. (Seligman, Emmons & McCullough Ben-Shahar ). The positives you list can be small, like enjoying a sunset; or big, like celebrating a raise at work. List whatever made you feel good today, and don’t forget to look for silver linings in negative experiences. Also, to increase your positive feelings more, list why something made you feel happy. For instance, expand your entry of “made carrot cake” to “making carrot cake made my house smell delicious and my family smiled and savored it together.” Another example might expand “walked dog” to “my kids and I laughed, talked, and shared our day as we walked Ruby and exercised together.”
Click on the video (below) to hear the Founder of Positive Psychology, U-Penn Psychology Professor, Martin Seligman, discuss why listing positives improves well-being.
Also, Harvard’s Psychology Professor, Tal Ben-Shahar, has kept his gratitude journal for many years. Like me, you may be wondering: how many? Since I have a curious mind, I asked him. He was gracious enough to respond.
Journaling positives helped me go from hell to happiness, which is why I’m so excited for others to try it. After my divorce, listing happy moments took me just three minutes per day, and this helped me appreciate life, savor experiences, and feel happier. I woke up mornings excited to create moments of happiness that I could journal later. So why not try this easy way to increase happiness and stay happier? Need more proof that gratitude journals improve happiness? Read this meta-analysis of 26 gratitude journal studies. It concludes these journals show a positive impact
Our lives can feel overwhelming due to busyness, worries, and negative social comparisons, but dedicating three minutes to happiness and well-being daily can help. Keep it simple by writing positives with paper and a pen, or use a stick to write on a sandy beach. Alternatively, create a free and easy online Gratitude Journal.