A gratitude journal is perhaps the best way to easily increase your level of happiness. Yet, not many people know there is a certain gratitude journal template you can use to greatly intensify its effectiveness. It’s a technique called “Three Good Things,” and it’s a method invented by Positive Psychology pioneer Dr. Martin Seligman. In The Three Good Things method, there are three simple parts. The first part is to think of something that happened to you during your day that you felt was good, or in some way made you happy. Step two is to simply write down in a gratitude journal or in an online gratitude journal what it was that made you feel good. Step three, which Dr. Seligman emphasizes is the most important part of this exercise, is to reflect on your role in creating that moment of goodness or happiness. That’s it.
Doing these three steps should really take less than a minute or so to complete, then you repeat it two more times so you have three things listed in your gratitude journal for each day. The “good things” can be small. Yesterday, my gratitude journal examples included enjoying a walk with my dog, having a good conversation with a friend, and enjoying the salsa I made at lunch.
Once you’ve listed an item in your gratitude journal, it’s important to ask yourself “why did that good thing happen to me today?” In other words, what traits or characteristics do you possess that helped you to create and/or appreciate the things that made you feel good? In my gratitude journal, I wrote that my great love for my dog helped me to appreciate the morning walk we shared together. I enjoyed my talk with my friend because I’m a very curious person and I value intimacy. Lastly, I enjoyed the salsa at lunch because I take good care of my body and I enjoy giving it the fresh food it craves.
Now imagine that each night before you went to bed you got in touch with specific positive traits in you that help to create some magical moments in that day. Can you see how that would help you to feel good about yourself and your life? Maybe not all at once, but over time you’d start to feel you have some control and that you’re able to create good moments in each and every day. That’s a powerful feeling. Studies show that the effectiveness of keeping a gratitude journal increases the longer you use it, but even if you just use it for one week, its effects can linger for many months.
While it’s best to come up with three good things per day to list in your gratitude journal—and then ask why each thing happened, if you’re as lazy as I am, you may choose to only list one or two good things per day. It’s still effective, and instead of taking 2 to 3 minutes to do each night, it only takes one or two minutes to do.
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of many ways you can easily increase your level of happiness. In my audio home study course, “Deeper Happiness: One Month to a Lifetime of Greater Fulfillment,” I offer over 30 additional methods that can be done in under two minutes a day that can lead to more joy and gratitude in your life. These methods are so powerful that I want you to try 3 of them out for free. In entertaining lectures, I provide you with cutting edge methods to help you enjoy life even more. Download these 3 free audio talks now.