The Appreciation Game

by Scott Noelle

Here’s an inner game that’s fun to play when you’re in a good mood...

The object of the game is to see how many appreciative thoughts you can have without the stream being interrupted by a critical or negative thought. For example:

“I love seeing my children grow. (One...) They’re so committed to seeking joy. (Two...) My parenting groove keeps getting better! (Three...) What?! They’re bickering again?! (Oops! Start over...)”

An unappreciative thought resets the count to zero unless you shift back into appreciation right away. The shift back might go like this:

“Their bickering will probably subside quickly if I stay centered and present... I know they want to get along with each other... They always find their way back to harmony eventually... I love that about them (FOUR!) and I love that I can stay centered even when they bicker. (FIVE!)”

Don’t play this game when you’re in a negative rut. There are better ways to get out of bad moods. Play the Appreciation Game to enhance and sustain your good moods.

Originally published on 2007-03-28
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