Noticing the good things in life
Paying attention to the good things - the things that make us feel positive, smile and laugh - is a great way to keep ourselves in a positive frame of mind. When we have a positive vibe about life, we can achieve so much more. And we can find it much easier to bounce back when the bad stuff comes along.
If you’re ready to start noticing the good things in life, this page can help you plan and make your move.
Give yourself time, space and the right tools for the job
It’s much easier to focus on the positive if you have a bit of time and space. So have a think about when you might be able to give yourself this time. Maybe there’s a period of quiet when you first get home from school or just before bedtime. Or maybe when you first wake up.
Then think about what you need to help you with making this move. A diary, journal or notebook is always helpful so that if you’re in the middle of other stuff when you notice a positive moment you can make a quick note and then come back to it later.
Make your move
Time to get positive
Here are some helpful ways to get the positive vibe going:
- Keep a diary of nice surprises, the things people do or say each week that make you smile.
- Keep a calendar to write down exciting things that are coming up, such as your friend’s birthday, a cool lesson at school, maybe even a holiday or trip somewhere.
And if you’re having a tough time and it’s hard to find a positive moment, then it might be time to bounce back and make your own good times. Did you know that happiness doesn’t only sometimes make us laugh, but laughing makes us happy? Laughing helps your brain reduce the chemicals that make you feel stressed and can even help people avoid having heart attacks. So if things aren’t so great, time to make your own positive vibes. You could:
- Watch a funny programme.
- Tell your friend your favourite joke – something you can’t resist laughing at.
Take the time to think about the good things
Once you’ve got your list of positive moments, take the time to think about them and enjoy the moment again. Try adding them to your diary of nice surprises so you can look back over them when you need reminding of the good things.
- At the end of the day, ask yourself - what three good things happened to me today?
- Focus on how it made you feel - how did you know you were feeling positive?
- Think about who was involved - where you were, what was going on?
You could even train your brain to notice the positive things rather than the negative things in your day. For example, instead of entering a lesson and thinking ‘I hate this subject’, try to identify three positive things about the lesson, such as ‘I like my teacher’, ‘I enjoy the group work in this lesson’, or ‘I can be creative here’.
Find ways to increase the good
If you keep your good things diary for a few weeks, you might well find there are patterns of things going on:
- Certain people or activities that really make you feel good.
- Times of day or places you go where the good stuff happens.
- Surprises - it’s not always the obvious stuff that gives us a positive vibe.
Whatever you notice, now’s the time to learn from your experience and maybe plan the next move - doing more of the good stuff to keep feeling positive.