"The What to Do" Guides are a series of books by psychologist Dr. Dawn Huebner for helping children deal with a variety of problems ranging from every day difficulties, like how to respond to anger, to diagnosable problems, like OCD.
Tracking positive events is a great exercise for children, too. This can be especially helpful if your child tends to complain or focus on the negative. Sit down at the end of the day and make a game out of seeing how many positive events you can list for the day. This can help them learn that even when things aren't perfect, they're rarely all bad.
Keeping track of positive events is a great way to improve your mood. Each day, make a list of every positive event that occurred that day. Nothing is too small to count for this exercise. Did you enjoy the weather? That counts! Did you hear a song on the radio that you really liked? That counts! Did you find your keys that you thought were lost? That counts!
Some people also like to think of this as counting their blessings or keeping track of what they have to be grateful for. Whatever you want to call it, add up those positives, and watch your mood improve!
Check out this article for more insights on the power of gratitude.
Have you ever noticed that your mind is rarely where you are? We're usually either thinking about what we've already done, what we plan to do, or what we wish we'd done differently. This can detract from truly experiencing your life, and can result in negative emotions. Try taking some time each day to be present in the moment. During this time, try to really focus on what you are doing. Notice all of the sensations you are experiencing. Try not to judge your experience. When you find your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the present. Try not to get frustrated by your wandering mind. Just notice it and move on. The more you practice, the less you'll find your mind wandering, and the easier it will be to be present in any given moment.
This practice, also known as mindfulness, can help you to feel more centered and help to manage negative emotions such as distress about the past or anxiety about the future. Research also shows that even short periods of daily mindfulness practice may lead to positive changes in brain structure. Click here for more information about how mindfulness positively impacts your brain and mental health.
Watching television may seem like a good way to relax, but it may actually have a negative impact on your physical and psychological health. Try rating your mood before and after watching television. Compare this to your mood before and after engaging in other relaxing activities, such as reading, talking to friends, taking a walk, or taking a bath. How does the effect of watching television compare to these other activities?