What's in your bag?



This morning I met for coffee with a new contributing writer, Cara Maksimow, LCSW, CPC. She works as a therapist and life coach, and runs workshops on increasing optimism and happiness.  I loved hearing about all of the great ideas and information that we'll be able to share here.  I will be the first to say I could use a little help keeping optimistic... and I don't think anyone would turn away ideas on how to increase your happiness. After chatting with her I knew I immediately had to share her BAG of happiness activity.  It's something she does every single day with her children at bedtime.  It's so simple... and is such a simple way to focus on the positive.  Here's what Cara wrote about her BAG on her blog:

"What is in your bag?

"Does it ever feel like you are carrying around a bag filled with negativity and stress?  We pile on the problems and to do lists and expose ourselves to negative stimuli throughout the day.  It becomes something we carry around with us and then have trouble shaking off.

"Empty it!"

"At the end of every day take 5 minutes to empty your BAG of negativity and stress and put it on a shelf somewhere.  Now it is ready to be filled.  Identify your BAG of happiness.  What does it look like?  Picture it.  Now here is how we fill it:

"B"  Best Thing!  What is the best thing that happened all day? "A" Accomplishment!  What did you accomplish today? "G" Gratitude!  What are you grateful for?"

"Now ask yourself WHY these things are important!"

"Take a look at this video that explains a little more about how this works."

"Just 5 minutes a day you can empty your BAG of negative and fill it with positive.  You will notice the longer you do this exercise the more you will see the positive throughout your day! "

Cara is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in NJ treating anxiety & depression as well as coaching clients on stress reduction, goal setting & increasing optimism.  You can find her online at her website,  Maximize Wellness Counseling and Coaching.  She also has upcoming Increasing Optimism workshop at the Madison Library (11/18 12-1pm) and Madison High School (12/4 7-8pm) through the Chatham Adult School.