Below is a simple activity designed to encourage a more appreciative outlook. Engaging with this may help to increase your awareness of the good things that happen around us. Research suggests that the ability to acknowledge the good things in our lives is linked to higher well-being – people who show and express gratitude tend to be happier and more satisfied with their life.
- Think back to a specific point in recent time (beginning of the week, yesterday, this morning) and briefly note down what happened/stood out to you during that time. You could do this in e.g. bullet points, a mind map or sentences.
- Now look back at the same point in time through fresh eyes and consciously identify parts that you could be appreciative of.
Compare the two versions of what you remember – does anything overlap? Are any of the people or events in the second reflection the same as in the first? Have you remembered anything or anyone different? Looking back with fresh eyes doesn’t mean you’re making moments up; you’re simply taking the time to deliberately notice and appreciate things that may have otherwise passed you by.
An alternative version of this activity could be to apply the same steps but change the focus to a specific point in the future – an upcoming event or interaction with someone. What do you predict will be the key points that will stand out and how could you enter into it this event/encounter with a more appreciative mindset?