The Positive Challenge

The positive challenge is a 30-day challenge to increase happiness through gratitude.  It involves finding 3 things during the day that you’re grateful for – simple things, perhaps, that normally you would take for granted.

It’s called the “3 Good Things Exercise” or the “3 Blessings Exercise” and has its base in Positive Psychology.  It’s well known that if you change your focus from things that go wrong during the day to things that you take for granted but go well that it increases your level of overall happiness.  Most of us naturally tend to focus on negative aspects of our lives and waste energy thinking about them and how to fix them or stop them happening again.  This exercise helps us to change the direction of our thoughts so that we train our minds to look for aspects of our lives that we’re grateful for.  And we all have a lot to be grateful for – there’s always someone worse off than you!

Let’s face it, if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you’re richer than 75% of the world.

Gratitude is the best attitude!

According to Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, the best way to do this exercise is:

Before you go to bed at night, think of three good things that have happened to you that day. These can be as simple and mundane as you like – everyday things that we take for granted, such as turning on a tap and having the luxury of a clean glass of water, feeling a fresh breeze on your face, listening to your child laugh.

Write them down.

Reflect on ‘why’ each of those good things happened and why they mean so much to you.  This is an important part of the exercise.


I’m going to do it in a slightly different way.  As a photographer, I’ve decided that I’m going to undertake my Positive Challenge as a photo journal using Instagram.  Nothing fancy involved in this photography  – a bit of iPhonography using my phone – but I’ll be taking a few photos every day that capture what makes me feel grateful and posting them on my IG account –, with the hashtag #3GoodThings .

Feel free to call over and join in.  I’d love to see other people involved.  You can use the hashtag on any social media that you like to use, and tag your friends in to get involved too!

And don’t worry, we don’t have to turn into PollyAnna!   “…. there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.”


About the author: Sue is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Photographer.  Working with individuals and groups, she uses to photography as a method to help clients feel good about themselves, inside and out


‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

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