Positive affect can be defined as the degree in which an individual believes the positive thoughts, emotions and sensations they experience impacts the outcomes they realize. By engaging LOVE we intensify that belief. Our awareness broadens, our creativity heightens, our focus sharpens... we become the best that we can be.
The Three Good Things Exercise
Each day for at least one week, write down three things that went well for you that day, and provide an explanation for why they went well. It is important to create a physical record of your items by writing them down; it is not enough simply to do this exercise in your head. The items can be relatively small in importance (e.g., “my co-worker made the coffee today”) or relatively large (e.g., “I earned a big promotion”). To make this exercise part of your daily routine, some find that writing before bed is helpful. As you write, follow these instructions:
- Give the event a title (e.g., “co-worker complimented my work on a project”).
- Write down exactly what happened in as much detail as possible, including what you did or said and, if others were involved, what they did or said.
- Include how this event made you feel at the time and how this event made you feel later (including now, as you remember it).
- Explain what you think caused this event—why it came to pass.
- Use whatever writing style you please, and do not worry about perfect grammar and spelling. Use as much detail as you'd like.
- If you find yourself focusing on negative feelings, refocus your mind on the good event and the positive feelings that came with it. This can take effort but gets easier with practice and can make a real difference in how you feel.
The PANAS scale gives a score for positive and negative affect between 10 and 50 points. In the original study with American undergraduates, the average positive affect (for the moment) was 29.7, and the average negative affect was 14.8 points (n=660). You can run the demo to see how you compare (you get feedback).