Updated: Jul 29, 2020
When you wake up in the morning have you noticed how so much of what we do is automatic, you don’t have to think about which arm you put into your clothing first and we get up and brush our teeth without planning or procrastination. These activities have become so habitual that they become easy. A few years ago I tried out an activity called “three good things” for three days. At the end of each day I had to scan my memory for something good, reflect on why it was good and what a difference it had made to me or another. The aim of the activity is simple, as humans we are honed to find threats and respond to them, a lot of time and energy is spent on trying to avoid those threats or problem solve them through worry. This can lead to a distorted perception about how bad things are. By taking a couple of minutes to readdress the balance we start to hone our skill at also recalling the positives. It doesn’t even matter if you can’t think a positive, it is the act of intentionally searching for it that makes the recall easier and it also helps us pay attention to the positives as they are happening. – If someone helps me out or I do something that I am proud of I suddenly think “Oh I wonder if this will feature in the three good things tonight?” Over time the activity stopped being something I needed to put conscious effort into doing. It became like brushing my teeth, becoming a natural part of my routine. I didn’t consciously notice any benefits but in retrospect it became easier to notice my strengths, it became easier to allow myself to be an imperfect human and that having perceived flaws is part of that. It fostered self-compassion and body image significantly improved.