Has anyone ever tried this exercise? Been given it at work, or school, or by a psychologist, or found it on a random site and given it a go?
I have mixed feeling about it… On one hand, I love it. A gratitude jar or a three good things journal is an amazing exercise in noticing life’s blessings, in beginning to combat negative thoughts that are contributing to depression, and in showing an energetic appreciation for the good/ beautiful things/people in your life.
On the other hand, my inner critic grabs hold of it and uses it as another example of how I’m failing, or going to fail. It says things such as “you forgot to log your three good things yesterday Cherie. You didn’t stop at the end of the day and recall them all. Useless. You didn’t do it properly the day before either. Hey, you might as well not bother about today. There was nothing good anyway” and proceeds to give me a hundred bad things to focus on instead.
But the truth is, how you find or acknowledge 3 (or more) good things doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re looking for them! So you find them.
I missed my train this morning because the traffic was terrible. But if I hadn’t have missed it I wouldn’t have spotted 2 cops laughing with one another at a station on the way, sharing a bag of McDonald’s. That’s my first good thing.
That prompted me to think back through the morning. No, that’s not my first good thing. I got 6 minutes shy of 8 hours sleep. That happens at most once a week for me… So THATS my first good thing. Then I remember seeing my cat exploring under a blanket trying to find a little cave to sleep in for the day. That’s my second. But wait… Why is she rummaging under a blanket? BECAUSE ITS RAINING! Scratch everything. Waking up in the wee hours to the sound of rain is my first good thing. So I’m up to 4 already. And I’m not even at work.
I don’t need to review these tonight, I’ve taken the moment, the millisecond to acknowledge and appreciate them at the time they occurred. I’m finding beautiful, wonderful things in the world.
The negative things will shout at you. It’s the positive ones that politely whisper or use their inside voices. YOU have to be their voice. Find a positive moment and shout about it with every ounce of your being. BE the positive thing for the person sitting next to you on the train. Add to someone’s list of good things while adding to your own.
I’m writing this because I’ve been struggling to find good things over the last few weeks. But when I look at it like this, it’s not that they haven’t been there, it’s just that I haven’t noticed them. My cat still did cute things. People on train stations were still happy and fun, I’ve had enough sleep a few other times… But I didn’t hear them. They were all there but then negative thoughts were shouting at me so I didn’t hear them. I hadn’t stopped, for just a moment to hear all the positive whispers. There’s always thousands of them. The negatives are fewer. Just louder.
Take a moment. Adjust your crowns and turn the volume down on the negatives and listen out for the positives.
Give it a go. Look for 3 good thingz today. Just notice them at the time. See what it does to your body, to your mind, as you notice them.