The weight of the world often hangs heavily on our shoulders. The endless to-do lists, the obligations and expectations, the routines and the annoyances. We all need a counterbalance, a counterpoint to the daily greyness of life. One technique I use is to capture the ‘good stuff’.
Now, this ‘good stuff’ can come in many forms. It can be a compliment your received, or a lucky moment when you got three green lights in a row on your way to work. It could be an upbeat song on the radio or a beautiful flower. It could be anything you experience that makes you smile, that uplifts you, that makes your day a tiny bit brighter. And no matter how tiny those moments are, capturing them can be really valuable.
The benefits of this technique are twofold. First of all, capturing a good moment means you have a way of looking back on it, increasing your stock of good memories. You can refer to your ‘bank of good stuff’ when life is getting you down, and harness that to brighten the current moment. Second of all, capturing ‘good stuff’ gets you into the habit of noticing it. You become something of a treasure hunter, on the lookout for tiny fragments of magic in your everyday life. And that is a great outlook to have.
Here are some ways you can capture the’good stuff’:
- Take a picture. In the age of smartphones, it’s easy to take a picture of the moment that made you smile. I have an Instagram account I use as a collection of wonderful things I come across – at the moment it heavily features Springtime flowers.
- Keep a journal. Writing things down is another way of keeping track, and quite versatile for when you don’t have a camera handy. Some people call this a Gratitude Journal, which is not a concept I’ve ever connected with, but the basic idea is to have a place where you routinely record the things that brightened your day.
- Tweet or blog. Writing snippets of your brighter moments and sharing them with others can not only help you, but also give other people ‘good stuff’ to think about and add to their collections.
- Draw or doodle. You don’t have to be an artist to sketch a quick illustration of the things you saw, and it can be very rewarding to keep a sketchbook of good experiences to flip through when you feel a bit bleak.
- A Jar of Awesome. This idea came from Tim Ferris, and involves writing the ‘good stuff’ on pieces of paper, folding them and putting them in a jar together. You can take them out and read them during tougher times. It can be really nice to have a tangible reminder of all the bright moments you’ve had!
Do you keep a note of good experiences? What’s your method?