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The "What Went Well" Exercise

This could also be called "The Three Blessings Exercise."

Have you noticed how often you think about what went wrong instead of what went right?

Too often we focus too much on what is wrong and not enough on what goes right in our lives.

Sometimes, it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future.

However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life instead of what is good, and that can put us in a negative mindset.

To overcome our brains’ natural catastrophic bent, we need to work on and practice this skill of thinking about what went well.

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep.

Write down three things that went well that day and why they went well.

You may use a journal or your computer to write about the events, but it is important that you have a physical record.

Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?”

Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but stick with it for one week.

It will get easier.

The odds are that you will be less depressed, happier, and addicted to this exercise six months from now!

Give it a try!

(Adapted from Flourish, by Martin Seligman)


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