Some people say a prayer. Some worry if they locked the back door. Others just collapse into bed on the fast-train to Slumberville.
However (and although I know lots of people already do so) there’s always value in reminding yourself of the power of thinking about three good things before you go to sleep each night.
Research has demonstrated that when this process is followed a little more formally (actually writing down three things for which you’re grateful and then providing a causal explanation for each of them) the effects can be strong and long-lasting, increasing happiness and decreasing depressive symptoms for a remarkable six months.
I see no harm, however, in simpifying the procedure a little such that it can become your last-thing-at-night habit.
So, say one of your good things was that you had a great conversation with an old friend, the cause might be that one of you phoned the other out of the blue.
No need for any further analysis, because what’s gone into your mental processing system is the idea that a moment of joy can come from simply picking up the phone, and once this seed has been sown you’ll be more likely to do so in the future. What’s more, in the couple of seconds it will take you, you’ll be powerfully reliving the moment minutes before you fall asleep.
And don’t worry about the back door. I’m sure you locked it.