I have previously blogged about the Positive News newspaper and have been meaning to write a bit more about the theme of positive thinking (or thinking positively) and happiness for a while. There are many self-help books about this topic, but recent conversations with friends reveals that it is an approach that not everyone likes, feels comfortable with, or works for them. Therefore, if my suggestion doesn’t work for you, then don’t worry, just ignore it!
Someone told me that they’d read a book about the secret of happiness (sorry, I don’t know what the book is!), and that the author had concluded that throughout all their research and studying of different people and societies, they felt that one of the simplest and best pieces of advice was, at the end of the day, to come up with just three things that were good, positive, nice, or that you were grateful for, about that day.
I was given a beautiful diary last year by a friend but already having a work one I wanted to keep this for something else. There was just enough room in it to record three things that were good or positive every day. Another friend gave me a beautiful notebook this year, and so I have continued with the 3 things. It makes for a nicer reflection than the ad-hoc ‘full-length’ diaries I used to keep (and still do, a bit), which tend to get dominated by negative comments which I need to get out of my system! On days when you’re struggling to come up with three things, being grateful for the fact that it didn’t rain on a summer’s day can even be included as one of the three things!
By sheer co-incidence (honestly! I started doing this in Jan 2010), Action for Happiness has this approach as Action 4. Their website is a wealth of resources on many different aspects of happiness and contributing towards being a movement for positive social change. And the Positive News website has an article on why ‘green’ people tend to be happier. With the UK government looking to measure national well-being, maybe society can move towards a better future?