Keep A Success Diary

Be your own best detective, and track down positive evidence

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When we feel down, we tend to pay more attention to the things that go wrong during the day than to the positive parts. Noticing the good things in your day may help with your mood. Fight the impulse to only see the negative by taking note of your successes. You might be surprised by how many there are.

This activity will:

  • Help you be your own detective and track down evidence of the good things in your life—no matter how big or small;
  • Encourage you to record every success, big or small;
  • Help you make a new list of accomplishments every day for a week.

One very common finding in depression is attentional bias, or the tendency to notice and remember things that are consistent with one's negative mood. You can work against this attentional bias by keeping a Positive Evidence Diary.

First, keep a numbered list of all the things (big or small!) that you did successfully today. For example, maybe you woke up on time, made breakfast, spoke with a friend and put gas in your car.

Then, for the next week, record these accomplishments every day.

Why? If you’re feeling down, you’re more likely to pay attention to things that go wrong during the day. Work against this attentional bias by noting the things you did correctly or successfully—you might be surprised by the length of your list!