A diary of three good things

Happiness has been a hot topic for many talks recently. It was precisely because of the pursuit of happiness that I ended up in Japan. I figure that I should spend more time making sure I am still heading in the right direction.

In this other blog of mine, I’m going to write about three things that made me happy every day, and see if it indeed makes me a happier person in the long run. You could also try this little experiment yourself and see how you get on.

I got this idea from Marc Helgesen at Sendai. He has been talking about positive psychology and how it can be used in the classrooms for a while, recently we met again in JALT. He shared a little worksheet with us – he has been using it with his students. If you are interested to explore more on this topic, you could read Martin Seligman’s more recent title Fourish. I must admit I haven’t read it yet but there is no doubt in my mind that just simply by smiling, thinking and talking about good things can lighten up one’s mood.

In fact, back in the days when I was a student in London during some dark hours, while on my way to the lab, I would make myself smile, hold that smile until happy things flowed into my mind that gave me a genuine reason to smile. It might sound a bit odd, but if you try it out, I’m sure you will find that you don’t need to hold that smile for that long before happy things do come into your mind. I also did another experiment at times in which I would be smiling at people walking towards me. I thought, everybody looked so miserable on their way to work, that couldn’t be right or healthy, I wondered if I could change that by presenting a smile and perhaps infecting them with one. Well, I never quite found out what happened to the person receiving that smile but I knew for me, it worked! It made me feel pretty good every single time, especially when I started wondering how many of those people might have thought some lunatics were smiling at them randomly, and passing their stories on to their colleagues.

Let’s make this winter warmer. Give it a go. Read mine and start yours!

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