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David Squires

Try This Exercise … and You’ll Be Happier in a Week

Pay attention to why good things happen to you.

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HERE’S A HAPPINESS-BOOSTING EXERCISE to try this week:

In the hour before you go to bed each night, take 10 minutes to note three things that went well for you during the day.

Do it in this format:

What went well today and why?

1. _______________________________________________________

This is why: ___________________________________________

2. _______________________________________________________
This is why: ___________________________________________

3. _______________________________________________________
This is why: ___________________________________________

The three things don’t necessarily have to be big things. (In fact, they usually won’t be.) But write about them anyway. And next to every one of the things you list, answer the question “Why did this happen?”

Here are a few sample events and reasons:

  • Customer thanked me for helping her pick the perfect wedding ring. (Because I really cared about making sure she picked the right ring for her.)
  • Had a positive discussion with an employee with whom I was having trouble communicating with. (Because I was able to launch the conversation on a positive note, showed empathy, and was able to avoid a defensive reaction.)
  • Had absolutely amazing seafood lunch with my husband. (Because we always love to explore new restaurants together, but are sometimes too lazy to do it. This time, we pushed each other to go.)

Martin Seligman, author of Flourish, swears by this habit and claims you will be “less depressed, happier and addicted to this exercise six months from now”.

David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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