Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Resolution #18: Notice What's Going Well

 OK, enough with the heavy stuff and suffering.  Not that it goes away, but sometimes we need to go away from it.  The next few days' resolution are all about increasing your "subjective experience of well-being" and "perceptions of life satisfaction",  aka happiness.

Like suffering, happiness is a temporal state.  We can't hang on to life's highs any more than we should hang on to its lows.  But there is nothing wrong, as stated in our own bill of rights, in the pursuit of it.

Resolution #5 talked about some research that showed that doing something different tends to increase folks' measurement of their happiness.  Researcher Martin Seligman also found that if people were asked to write down for three things daily that went well for one week, along with their understanding about why that might be, they showed significant gains in perceived happiness at baseline and in follow-up testing at one and three months.

Noticing what isn't wrong in our lives helps us direct attention to our strengths and resources.  Give this simple exercise a try and see if things begin to shift a little.

If you are interested in participating in Seligman's happiness and positive psychology research, there are several current studies open.  Click this link for more information.

Below is an (older) video in which Segilman explains how the "Three Blessings Exercise" works.

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