There are so many interesting positive psychology exercises that I love to do, but one of my favorites is the three blessings exercise. It is so simple to do on an everyday basis, and it actually has health benefits. So here’s what you do. Before you go to sleep, take out a journal, a piece of paper, a notebook, or maybe even your phone, and write down three things that you are grateful for. It could be three things that happened that day or that week.
- What are you most grateful for?
- Why am I grateful? Be very specific, and then ask …
- Why am I grateful for it?
In other words, reflect on why you are so thankful for that particular thing or person in your life. Studies show that doing this exercise for just three weeks, will boost your immune system (you are less likely to get colds), it deepens your sleep, and it actually helps you to sleep longer. If you just count your blessings in your head, and you don’t write it down, the effects are not the same. There’s a lot of power in the written word, and power in being reflective and intentional about your gratitude. Gratitude is such a powerful tool, not only because it allows us to reflect on just how blessed we are, but it also counteracts the spirit of discontentment that can be so easy to get if you have attained goals or gotten use to being at a certain level. A lot of times we get into our new normal and we forget that just a couple of years earlier we were hoping for the things that we now have in our lives.
So being able to intentionally be grateful helps you to remember what you have to be grateful for and to not take it for granted, and it is amazing that it has health benefits as well. Helps you sleep better, ward off colds, and puts you in a better mood.