This is a very quick tool.
No matter how bad the situation we find ourselves in we can always find three things that are good about it. It doesn’t mean that we negate the reality of the situation or that we are trying to play it down. The hard to deal with stuff still exists and has to be faced.
What it does do however is help us move from catastrophic thinking as when the brain finds an opposite answer it loosens the grip of the overwhelm that can often come with adverse events.
Just taking a few examples going from minor to major life events. These examples are just that, you can think about each one and insert your own thoughts.
Your computer crashes and you lose all your data.
Three good things:
- I’ve been thinking about getting a new computer so this gives me the permission to invest
- If I haven’t backed up, now I’ve learned that backing up is important and I will do it from now on.
- I can reach out and ask for help. I might know someone who knows someone who is good at computer repairs and along the way reconnect with old friends
You get a bad health diagnosis
Three good things
- I now get a perspective on what is important in life and see that those I love are what matter to me now
- I learn how to stay in the moment and not project into the future
- I find an inner reserve of hope and trust that I didn’t know I had.
Situation 3 (April 2020 update)
Covid 19 pandemic
Three good things
- I’m appreciating that right now I am still OK.
- I’m recognising now that I took a lot for granted and will be so grateful when I can get out again to socialise with friends, go to the cinema or just walk by the sea.
- People everywhere are rethinking how we live and how we treat the planet.
What’s the worst that can happen?
This is opposite to the 3 things but also has a purpose. Fear is often fed by the desire to run from it. Sometimes sitting with the answer to What’s the worst that can happen? allows us to face the fear head on and work through how we hope we might deal with it. Then it is easier to put the fearful thought away as you have worked it through, undertaken any actions that might help and then there is nothing more that can be done other then hand it over and come back to the present moment.
Generally the worst that can happen is death. How do you deal with that? On a practical level are your affairs in order? Have you made a will? Have you left instructions about your wishes so that those left behind have as little stress as possible? Have you made peace with those around you? Have your told them you love them?
But there are other worsts such as losing your home, your job etc.
Once you’ve faced your fear, got the practicalities out of the way then move back to 3 things once more, find 3 good things in your response and then draw a line under it and come back to the present moment.