“Helping you gain control over the things you want to change”

Fiona Nicolson

A simple technique to get into a more positive mindset

Last time we looked at some of the reasons why we fall into a negative frame of mind. I said I would show you how to change this for yourself. I will be giving you some more techniques over the next couple of months so pop back here to see. Tin this blog  I am going to give you a simple tip that will put you in a more positive frame of mind. If you know you filter things to make the negative things in your life stand out you may despair of ever changing this. Fear not, you can break the habit. Here is a tried and tested technique.

It was developed in the last century by the psychologist Martin Seligman. It is usually known as the three blessings or three good things. Here is the man himself explaining how it works.

Negative and positive thinking

Seligman found that many of his clients who suffered depression concentrated on the negative things which were happening to them. He believed that this way of looking at things was developed as an evolutionary mechanism to protect us. Mulling on something dangerous or unpleasant which had happened meant we could think it through and make a strategy to stop it from happening again. But if we do this all the time, and especially remembering that we are not usually in danger from things that happen, it can be a bad thing. It can make us negative and depressed and lead to anxiety.

Seligman developed this simple technique to get us in the habit of thinking more positively.

How to do the Three Blessing exercise

Here is what I tell my clients to do.

Every night, just before you go to bed take ten minutes to yourself. Sit somewhere quiet and pleasant in your house and reflect on your day. Direct your thoughts to the positive and think of three good things which have happened to you in the course of the day. They can be big events, perhaps it was today that you got your dream job, but they do not have to be. They can be little things as well, and after all, little things are more common for all of us most of the time.

Even if you have had a really awful day you will be able to find three good things which happened in the course of it. Perhaps you ate an especially delicious sandwich for lunch, or you might have seen a lovely sunset as you walked home in the early evening, Did you wear an outfit which you like a lot, or did one of your children or friends make you laugh? Perhaps the train was on time for once, or you had a good night’s sleep. As soon as you begin to think you will find that at least three good things happened to you on any day.

Writing down the good things helps develop positive thinking

Once you have found your three things for the day you can move on to the next step. Write the three things down if you like journaling.  Choose a special notebook and write with a decent pen. This will make what you are doing feel special and important.

Write down the event then write why you liked it. Do not overthink this, write what comes into your head. Perhaps you had a good night’s sleep because you are lucky enough to have a comfortable bed. Your children make you laugh because they are happy and well adjusted. After all, you do a fantastic job as a parent. The fact that you enjoyed the sunset is because you are aware of the world around you and take time to notice what is good.

Keep your writings to boost your mood

If you do this every night for a couple of weeks you will notice a difference in your mood. I also advise clients to go back over their notebooks at the end of the month and enjoy how many good things have happened to them.

I know many of my clients use this technique all the time simply because they enjoy it.

Try it yourself I am sure you will benefit from it.

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