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422: Best 3

Show notes and links:
Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions.
Greater Good in Action


Full episode script

In a 2005 article in American Psychologist, the article Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions did an online study to see if interventions with an eye towards boosting positive psychology would actually be effective.

One of the interventions they found to be very effective was writing down just three good things about your day, in as much detail as possible.

This spurred a large number of websites, self-help advocates, and apps (naturally) that turned this particular intervention into a so-called program. Berkey’s Greater Good in Action website explains it by saying:

“By remembering and listing three positive things that have happened in your day–and considering what caused them–you tune into the sources of goodness in your life. It’s a habit that can change the emotional tone of your life, replacing feelings of disappointment or entitlement with those of gratitude–which may be why this practice is associated with significant increases in happiness.”

In other words, positive psychology 101. And if you’re anything like me, doing something new every single day looks a little intimidating, so I instead try and ask myself once a week about the best things.

It’s also an interesting question to ask others, because often, it can reveal a source of joy — wherever it may be found — and that’s a very powerful emotion to get someone to tell a story.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.