Positive Psychology Exercises: Self Compassion Letter & Your Daily Holiday
Positive psychology exercises are science-based interventions that help to increase psychological well-being (more at: https://positivepsychologytoolkit.com/join)
Want to put positive psychology into practice? Why wait? Just watch the video, follow the simple instructions and start doing the exercises by yourself or with friends.
You can find more positive psychology exercises here: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/positive-psychology-exercises/
Or in our Positive Psychology Practitioner’s Toolkit: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/join
Transcript of the video:
Positive psychology is a scientific field and like any scientific field, it’s findings only become really valuable when put into practice.
That is why we thought we’d bring you 2 different practical positive psychology tools that you can use in your life straight way. So let’s get down to positive business, shall we?
Ever heard of self-compassion? Simply put, self-compassion means that you treat yourself with care and concern when confronted with your own mistakes, failures and shortcomings. It has 3 different components: self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and mindfulness.
This specific exercise is called “A letter of self-compassion” and you’re gonna start with choosing an aspect of yourself that you dislike and criticize. It may be appearance, career, relationships, health, etc.
Write in detail about how this perceived inadequacy makes you feel. What thoughts, images, emotions, or stories come up when you think about it?
Next, imagine someone who is unconditionally loving, accepting, and supportive. This friend sees your strengths and opportunities for growth, including the negative aspects about you. The friend accepts and forgives, embracing you kindly just as you are.
Now write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this kind friend. What does he or she say to you? How does this friend encourage and support you in taking steps to change? Let the words flow and don’t stress about structure or phrasing.
After fully drafting the letter, put it aside for fifteen minutes. Then return to the letter and reread it. Let the words sink in. Feel the encouragement, support, compassion, and acceptance. Review the letter whenever you are feeling down about this aspect and remember that accepting yourself is the first step to change.
Now before you grab your pen and paper, let’s go on a daily holiday, shall we? Are you living life in the fast lane? Do you feel like you lack time to actively savour and appreciate the experiences in your life? Then this exercise is for you.
Research has shown that, rather than their intensity, the frequency of positive emotions and feelings is a stronger predictor of our overall level of happiness. Meaning that it’s more effective to increase the number of positive experiences, than it is to intensify them. This exercise does just that. It’s called “taking a daily vacation”. You’re gonna choose a different vacation every day. For example, going for a walk, chatting with a friend, having a hot bath, watching the sunrise while sipping on a mug tea. The only limit is your imagination. Just choose something you enjoy doing.
Before you actually start, remember, Your Daily Vacation is a time to relax. So set aside your worries and fears for a while.
During the daily vacation, try to be present and experience what is happening. Notice the sensations. How are you feeling? What positive emotions are you experiencing? Take a mental note of them. After your daily vacation remember to plan ahead for the next day; what will tomorrow’s daily vacation be? Feel free to look forward to it.
Everyday, before you go to bed, take at least five minutes to remember the positive emotions that you savored during the day, and on the weekend take 10 to 15 minutes to look at all the positive emotions of the past 7 days. How did you feel this week compared to other weeks? Are there any differences? How do you feel right now?
Can you imagine how life would be if you did this everyday?
Much like love, you can see happiness as a verb. So if you put some effort into it, you may find yourself enjoying the ride as much as the destination.
Time to put it into practice!
If you liked these exercises, then you’re going to absolutely love our Positive Psychology Practitioner’s Toolkit with more than 100 goodies like these. Thanks for watching and see you next time!