Find The Good In The Bad
Thanks to our negativity bias, we’re all too quick to notice when something doesn’t go our way. One thing we aren’t good at is revising our opinion after the fact. If we pause and think about it, many of the things that at first seem “bad” end up having positive effects. These can be small, like when my two-year-old woke me up at 4am for food – which made me realize that I’d forgotten to set my alarm for my appointment later that morning. Or it can be much bigger. We’ve all heard stories of people who go through something difficult, like losing a job or going through a breakup, only to realize an opportunity to take their life in a new and better direction afterwards.
Today’s happiness exercise is to write about at least one recent event that seemed bad but led to good. It can be small, even tiny. I’ve found in the past that this exercise helps me to extend that skill into my day-to-day life, so that when I feel frustration or disappointment, I can sometimes remind myself to keep an eye out for the good consequences. It’s surprising how often there are good consequences.