by Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neuro)
I'm taking an online class called The Science of Happiness given by a few smarty pants PhD types at UC Berkeley.
I'm only in week 1 right now, but I'll tell you so far, I'm really loving it. The goal of the class is to talk about the scientific research behind positive psychology, and give the students tools to increase their own happiness.
So guess what!? The very first exercise they have you do as part of the course is called Three Good Things. In which you focus on three good things that happened to you in a day. Sound familiar? That's totally what we've been doing with Thankful Thursdays!
Needless to say I'm already totally stoked as I start this exercise, but THEN they go and take the exercise to a whole new level. They have you not only write it- but give each good thing a title ala "Today I Organized the Linen Closet". They ask you to reflect on exactly what happened (title seems self explanatory, but the linen closet was a real mess, and is now not a mess), and why did it happen (I finally took 20 minutes and organized the disaster of the linen closet), and how it made you feel at the time (Satisfied. Been meaning to do it for a while. was making me cringe and fear for my safety every time I tried to pull a towel from Mt. Disaster). How does it make you feel now? (Totally awesome, because not only is it organized, the towels are not hanging on on the foot of my bed. DOUBLE WIN!) Don't stress about grammar or spelling. (If this blog is not evidence enough, let me assure you I never stress about spelling and grammar). And if you feel negative stuff float in, redirect it back to positive. (Do not reflect that the rest of your house remains a pig sty. Instead, focus on the glorious pristine Martha Stewart level of organization in your linen closet). They recommend that you spend 10 minutes on this a day.
And be still my nerd heart, they give a citation to show that research has shown that this exercises increases long term happiness.
Guys, this is like Thankful Thursday on steroids. I'm going to try it this week and report back.
So tell me guys- three things you are thankful for. Timely and specific as you can muster. And if you are really feeling it, why not try the Three Good Things method. I'm diving in with both feet.