Benefit Finding Activity
Do you find yourself focusing on the negatives without being able to pull out those hidden silver linings? Then try this benefit finding activity.
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There will be many times in life when you experience tough situations and tough emotions. In these situations, it can be helpful to use benefit finding to explore the benefits of situations which, at first, seemed to be negative. Here's how to do it:
Activity: Benefit finding
In this activity, you are going to explore a past negative event. Take a moment to think of something negative you experienced in the past. I know that some negative experiences are very negative, so please select an experience that's just a little bit negative - nothing too hard for your first time using this activity.
Please briefly think about this negative event for about 30 seconds.
Then, spend the next 10 minutes writing about the positive things that came from this experience.
You may be greatly rewarded after experiencing a negative situation.
You may be grateful that you had this experience.
Or you may be better off than when you started.
Try to really search your mind for the benefits of the negative situation.
What did people say?
Thank you to everyone who submitted your responses to this activity! And wow, you all found benefits in even the most challenging situations. Hopefully your sharing can help other community members with their own difficult situations.
Here were some situations people wrote about and their silver linings:
Next time you come across a difficult situation see if you can benefits to increase your positive emotions and sense of meaning.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.