There are many complete methods and little tricks to help you to improve yourself and your experience of life. As we understand more of the things that determine our ‘state’ we can use this knowledge to improve on it. One of the basic things that we know and might use to our advantage is that our experience of life is highly determined by our perception of it – not the factual truth of reality. We have a ‘mood filter’ through which we observe the world and ourselves. We are highly influenced by things like Framing and Priming. We can use this.
My favourite and extremely simple way to improve your life is The 3 Things.
Here is how it goes: at the end of every day, you name three things that you liked that day.
Now, these can be huge things. Milestones that you (or someone you care about) have reached after much effort. They can also be what we erroneously call ‘small things’ like the way the sunlight hit you on the nose when you stepped out the door. Or the crunch and cream of your homemade sandwich you had for lunch. Or a twitter-encounter that made you smile. A hug on the couch. Anything…
Some days it may seem like there has not been anything enjoyable at all – hang in there – search your mind – mentally walk through your day. Stop looking for these Huge Moments of Success that we are trained to recognise but look for an instance where you felt happy, joyous, content for a split-second. The cause of such feelings is not limited to just you, most of our joy comes from others. Sharing and caring. Usually when you’ve found one tiny moment of joy in your day, you will rapidly find others.
Catch yourself when going negative. We tend to add ’but’ to much niceness and allow more headspace for all that has gone wrong or still has to be done or (big one) is yet uncertain. These things might be true and of value but there is a time for everything and here is a time and space for three nice things – nothing else (this includes sarcasm).
If you have a partner – make your 3 things a shared ritual around the end of the day. When you get into bed together, while hanging out in the evening or during the last walk of the dog. Some fixed time at the end of every day. While adding to your own perception of your life experience, this will also add positive affect to your relationship as well as allowing you insight into what it is your partner really appreciates.
You could also share your 3 things with a friend or family member – keep the interaction easy and short to ensure daily repetition. Maybe you can make it a bedside goodnight ritual or you could ring each other, WhatsApp, e-mail etc.
Or write your 3 things down for yourself. This could be in your diary, on your online blog or on Post-Its. You may want to keep them to look them up later or to be able to share them. Fine and totally up to you but not necessary – the point is to prime yourself with the positive experiences you have on a daily basis.
Share & enjoy