The journey towards ‘the good life’ and a sense of well-being is largely a personal one. Not everyone will benefit from the same approach; what’s good for one person may not be so good for another. In recent times, positive psychologists have developed a variety of techniques to increase well-being. Whether it be:
- expressing one’s gratitude,
- identifying and using personal strengths,
- savouring experiences,
- practicing kindness towards self and others and
- increasing optimism,
all of these positive psychology exercises demonstrate the potential to boost an individual’s level of well-being and experience more of ‘the good life’. Want to know how to do them?
Here’s 6 techniques to a good life:
1. Active-Constructive Responding
This is when people respond in an active-constructive manner towards good news that people have shared with them. When people respond with:
- a sense of genuine happiness and
- deliberate displays of excitement as well as
- interested questioning about the event, then
it can encourage retelling and re-experiencing of good news. Research suggests that responding in an active-constructive manner is strongly linked to improved relationships and individual well-being.
2. Blessings Exercise
This exercise encourages people to reflect at the end of each day and write down 3 things that
went well on that day and why they went well. This type of exercise promotes gratitude which has
been associated with increased well-being and satisfaction with one’s life. Reflecting on moments in
a grateful nature helps to prevent people from taking things for granted. It can also help people to
pay more attention to good acts that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
3. Gratitude Visit Exercise:
It might be a friend, family member, colleague, coach or a mentor. The gratitude visit exercise
requires you to write a gratitude testimonial to someone whom you never properly thanked. The
second part of this exercise is that you then arrange to meet with this person to read the gratitude
letter to the recipient in person.
4. Life Summary Exercise.
Write a short description of how you would like to have your life relayed to your grandchildren (real
or imagined). A few days after writing the summary, you review the summary to think about what
may have been missing in your life and what changes might be necessary to ensure this life
summary could be achieved.
5. Savouring Exercise.
Reflect each day for at least 2-3 minutes on two pleasurable experiences and aim to make the
pleasure last as long as possible. This aims to increase savoring or an attempt to intensify or elongate
the positive emotions of an experience through focused attention on the present moment.
6. Strengths Exercise.
Complete the Values in Action Survey of Strengths
(http://www.viacharacter.org/www/Character-Strengths-Survey) and identify
your 5 highest strengths. Each day, find a new way to use 1 of the 5 identified strengths. Use of
signature strengths has led to boosts in well-being and decreases in depressive symptoms.
Positive psychologists emphasize that people should focus and build upon what they are doing well.
If you would like to explore this more in your life, then the experienced psychologists at Attuned
Psychology are also able to meet with you and discuss how you can do this.
The team of Psychologists at Attuned Psychology are skilled and experienced at helping you to identify and manage any anxiety conditions that may be impacting your life. Contact us if you would like to take the opportunity to learn more about anxiety and how to manage it more effectively.