January’s Experiment of the Month was a cognitive therapy exercise, as described by Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D. in One Exercise Sure to Make You Feel Better About Yourself:
OK, so what is the exercise?
- Keep a pad of paper next to your bed and every night before you go to sleep, write down three things you liked about yourself that day.
- In the morning, read the list before you get out of bed.
- Keep adding 3 new things to your list every day to keep the list growing.
- Do this every day for 30 days.”
How did it go? Quite well. Throughout January, I kept a beautiful blank book (handmade by my mommy!) and a Micron pen beside my bed. Nearly every night (28 out of 31 days), I wrote three positive things about myself.
While I read the ever-growing list 23 times, I soon switched to reading it at night. This isn’t what Vilhauer had in mind and may have weakened my results.
Will I make a habit of writing Three Positive Things about myself every day? Nah. My depression tends to be existential; life feels completely pointless. Writing “I was friendly” or “I was a good teacher” could hardly change that. Reading the same thing every day can be tedious, even when you’re complimenting yourself.
Then again, it may be telling how often I wrote about getting things done, not traits; my self-esteem is directly tied to my To Do list. Hmm! That’s worth examining…
Would I recommend the Three Positive Things exercise to others? Perhaps. If you (or someone you know) struggles with a low sense of self-worth, this exercise may ease a little of that pain. What have you got to lose? A few sheets of paper?
Over on the Jaunty Dame Facebook page, I prodded my friends Jacob and Sierra to try this experiment. What’s the story, you two?
Over to y’all: have you tried the Three Positive Things exercise? Would you ever? Share your thoughts in the comments.