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How to Bottle Up Good Feelings (Group Experiment)

Glass Vase 01

When I told a friend about some recent great news (a LinkedIn invitation from a self-experimentation leader), she suggested I "bottle the feeling." This struck a chord with me because I tend to focus on the negative, i.e., when things don't feel like they are going well. So I decided to do an experiment where I do just that - capture when I feel especially good because of an event. My "bottle" in this case is my big-arse text file. All I've been doing is:

  1. Notice when something good happens to me,
  2. Write it down in the file, tagging it with BottleTheFeeling, and
  3. Review the file when I'm feeling down.

So far I've been doing the first two, but I haven't implemented a reviewing practice. Also, I had not set up a proper Edison experiment, so I thought I'd make a group experiment and ask if you'd like to join me. You can learn more about it at bottle good feelings (Group Experiment). To join immediately:

Here's the summary, taken from the experiment:

What can we do to save up good things that happen to us when we need them on emotionally rainy days? A gratitude journal is a traditional approach, but in this experiment we try something simpler and more immediate - "bottling" the feeling for later.

This is similar to the common gratitude journal idea [1], but feels to me a little lighter to implement. It's also similar to my hack, Use Gmail's "star" to highlight your good news, but more specific.

Why don't you join me? It'll be fun!


  • [1] Here are two useful links. First, How to Keep a Gratitude Journal | eHow.com. Second, from What is a gratitude journal?:
    [In your journal] you will write 5 things that you are grateful for that day. You can do this right before bed or in the evening sometime. These don't have to be big earth shattering revelations, as most things you are grateful for are not. These entries are what matter to you and what you are grateful for. This is a very personal venture. The only 2 rules with the gratitude journal are:
    1. Everything in it must be positive and;
    2. You can only list something you're grateful for once - no repeating entries.

Reader Comments (2)

This is a good exercise and it is often incorporated in depression treatment. You are what you think. If you believe you are lucky and happy even if you don't feel it, eventually you WILL be happy and lucky. Funny how it works but life is all about perception.

March 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda Lloyd
Thanks, Belinda. I'm always happy when a reader like you connects the dots. Your "...77 Life Organization Tips!" guide looks cool.
March 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterMatthew Cornell

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