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Archive for the ‘well-being’ category

A Beautiful Day Visualization Helps with Decision Making

A Beautiful Day Visualization Helps with Decision Making

The other day I offered the “Beautiful Day” exercise. One purpose of this positive psychology technique was, after writing out what a beautiful 24-hour period of time would look like, to see what aspects of your beautiful day you could implement into your life now. Another purpose was to feel the enjoyment of imagining your Beautiful Day

Here is another way to use the Beautiful Day exercise when deciding between several activities or situations you might choose.

1. Clarify what the different options are that you are choosing between. For example, if you are choosing between several career paths, clarify the different career choices are that you are deciding between. For example, “Do I become a physical therapist assistant, teacher, or accountant?”

2. Get all of the details and facts about what each choice would involve: If I become a physical therapist assistant I will have to go to school for two years for an associates degree; if I become a teacher or accountant I will have go to college and get a B.S. degree, etc.  Sample, as much as possible, what each choice would entail. For example, if going back to college, sit in on some of the classes you would be taking.

3. Once all of the facts are gathered, write out a Beautiful Day exercise for each option. For instance, if you become a physical therapist assistant, write out what a Beautiful Day scenario might be in this profession. If you decide to become a teacher or accountant, write out a Beautiful Day exercise for each of these professions.

By writing out your Beautiful Day scenarios for each of the options you are choosing between, it will help you to live into each. By doing so, you can potentially have a sneak peak into the future and feel what each option might hold for you.

The benefit of this exercise is that you are using you head and heart in making your choices. By first gathering the facts and details you utilize your mind to analyze the different options. By then feeling into each option by writing out what and Beautiful Day would look like for each scenario, you allow your heart and inner yearnings to give you feedback. Which felt most exciting or fulfilling when you wrote about the Beautiful Day for that option? This is valuable feedback for making your decision.

Enjoy and let me know what decisions you were able to make using the Beautiful Day exercise.

Deborah Barnett, Ph.D.
Psychotherapy and Coaching for Business Success and Personal Thriving

A Blessing can be a simple as seing a Beautiful Rose

A Blessing can be a simple as seeing a Beautiful Rose

The “3 Good Things” exercise, also known as the “3 Blessings” exercise,  is a great Positive Psychology technique that has been well tested. It has been shown to increase well-being and decrease depression and anxiety. Martin Seligman, Ph.D., conducted a study  with 411 people using this exercise. The results were that 94% of very depressed people became less depressed and 92% became happier in 15 days. Furthermore, the results lasted for at least 6 months.

3 Good Things in Life Exercise

Each night before you go to bed, pick out 3 things that went well that day. Write down each of these events or experiences that went well and write about why they went well or what felt good about the experiences. Remember, the events you chose do not have to be spectacular or dramatic.
Here is an example:

Event:This morning on my way into work, I stopped and allowed an elderly lady enter the elevator before me.
Why: I took the time to slow down, notice what was going on around me, and by being kind and helpful, I felt good.

You can try this exercise for yourself and let me know what your experience is. I have used this exercise with my phone coaching clients and they have reported that it works very well.

Deborah Barnett, Ph.D.
Phone coaching and counseling in Asheville, NC for Business Success and Personal Thriving

In my private practice counseling clients in Asheville, NC, daily, my clients are coming in and telling me about how difficult things are these days. This is a time of economic hardship for many. Many people are worried about their jobs or desperate because they don’t know how they are going to put food on the table for their family.

Flowers3It is so easy to look at the situations in our lives and feel, “This is the way things are and therefore they are going to continue to be this way for a long time. . .” When this thought goes through your head it is easy to feel that the “bad stuff” in your life, whether that be poor health, the economy, being unemployed, etc.” is out of your control. This can easily lead to a feeling of helplessness.

Control is such an interesting concept. The truth is that there are many things that we are unable to control. We can’t control the weather, what our boss or friend thinks of us, we can’t control the traffic on the road. What we can control is our attitude toward what does happen to us and our expectation we have toward future events in our lives.

Our expectation that we have of future events in our lives is like a story that we tell ourselves that is optimistic or pessimistic. So what story are you telling yourself? Are you telling yourself, “Things are really bad in my life and there is no sign of them getting better anytime soon.”? Or, are you telling yourself, “I am going through a really rough time right now. I don’t like it, but I am going to be okay. I anticipate that things are going to turn around for me soon. I am going to start appreciating what is working in my life and I am going to look for evidence of my life improving!”? Your attitude makes a huge difference. The field of Positive Psychology has conducted research on the benefit of having a positive attitude and of having optimism and hope. Dr. Hilary Tindle, in her research found that optimism is related to increases in health and longevity. Optimism has also been linked to less depression in caregivers.  So think about the story you are telling yourself. Is it optimistic?
Deborah Barnett, Ph.D.
Positive Psychology in Asheville, NC
Phone Coaching for Personal Growth and Relationship Success

This spring I flew from Asheville to Philadelphia, where I attended the World Congress on Positive Psychology.  There I met Dr. Robert J. Vallerand.
Recently, by phone, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Robert J. Vallerand, Ph.D. Dr. Vallerand is a Social Psychology Professor and Director of the Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social at Université du Québec à Montréal. Dr. Vallerand has written or edited 5 books and more than 200 articles and book chapters, he has been cited more than 3000 times, and he has given more than 300 scientific presentations and keynote addresses mainly in the area of social motivation. In this interview Professor Vallerand spoke on his new conceptualization of passion.

Please give the audio time to load. Enjoy! (My voice doesn’t come through clearly, but Dr. Vallerand’s does).


Professor Vallerand can be contacted  at

Increase your well-being with Dr. Deb

Increase your well-being with Dr. Deb

Hello Welcome to my Blog!

In this blog I will share tips you can utilize to enhance your life and experience more joy and success.  Topics will include ways to increase happiness, ease stress and anxiety, decrease depression,  improve your relationship with your spouse or partner,  and interact more effectively with family, friends and coworkers.

I offer phone consulting and coaching to individuals and groups. For those who live in, or are visiting Western North Carolina, I offer in-person psychotherapy sessions in Asheville, North Carolina. With my degree in Transpersonal psychology and positive psychology orientation, I focus on assisting individuals in identifying their strenghts, thus allowing them to experience personal empowerment, greater optimism and increased well-being.

Please feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments section of this blog and I will be happy to answer them or point you toward resources that may be beneficial for you.

Deborah Barnett, Ph.D.
Positive Psychology in Asheville, NC
Phone Coaching for Personal Growth and Relationship Success