3 Good Things: This simple strategy can help you feel better when the chips are down

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Pip Lincolne is a top-notch human who has recently released a new book. When Life Is Not Peachy is a gentle guide for navigating loss, grief or other sad times – like right now, for instance? With thoughtful advice on dealing with friends and family; healthy tips for eating and exercise when you don’t feel like it; and a just-keep-yourself-going ‘101’ for when you’re feeling very low. It’s the bolstering force we need to feel a bit closer to ourselves, or find a bit of peace. Here is her 3 Good Things strategy – an easy practice that will help lighten the load.

by Pip Lincolne

When Life Is Not Peachy

The 3 Good Things practice has been super-helpful for me, so perhaps you will take a shine to it, too? The idea is pretty self-explanatory and the benefits are far-reaching.

For 3 Good Things, you simply write down… three good things that you have experienced each day.

For optimal results, you are supposed to write about them in as much detail as possible, but I have found that even writing a very short sentence for each one still yields benefits.

These things may not seem good to you, but they are good to me.

I’ll share some of my ‘good things’ with you, as a simple example. Honestly, these things may not seem good to you, but they are good to me and that’s the beauty of this practice. Your 3 Good Things are just for you, and you don’t need to share them with anyone.

When life is not peachy - a strategy to help you feel better

Some of my 3 Good Things

  1. Noticed that someone had left two biscuits beside a public dog bowl when I was at the shops.
  2. Heard two old gents offering to shout each other breakfast.
  3. Did not leave the washing in the washing machine overnight.

As you can see, my 3 Good Things are very brief because I want to make this easy for myself and I’m seeking to do this daily.


More on this: 5 gentle ways for mums to practise self-kindness


 

The other beautiful thing about this simple practice is that it helps you look for life’s gems. When you are feeling crappy, it’s easy to cast the entire universe in a dark light — but 3 Good Things tends to shift that perspective to something brighter and provide a little optimism injection. You head into your day with a positive task in the back of your mind, more keenly on the lookout for the good.

The other beautiful thing about this simple practice is that it helps you look for life’s gems.

If you practise 3 good things regularly, you can start to redefine the things that matter to you, which is especially helpful if you’re feeling a bit stuck and anxious.

And science tells us the benefits can be profound. A 2005 study by psychologist Martin Seligman and colleagues, published in American Psychologist, found that writing about three good things was associated with increased happiness immediately after documenting the three things, as well as one week, one month, three months and six months later.

So, what have you got to lose?

More of my 3 Good Things

  1. Did not cry during a disagreement!
  2. Had a long discussion with my kid about some interesting stuff
  3. Wrote 1000 words of my book

When Life Is Not Peachy

What would you put on your 3 Good Things list?

Images by Kylo; book images and text from When Life is Not Peachy by Pip Lincolne. Murdoch Books RRP $32.99

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