17 positive psychology exercises pdf

The current blogpost will be based on the question “what are 17 positive psychology exercises?”. We will enlist the various exercises that are used in positive psychology. We will learn and discuss the details of each exercise with various specific aspects of each positive psychology exercise.

What are 17 positive psychology exercises?

The current blogpost will be based on17 various positive psychology exercises. Positive psychology exercises are basically aimed to promote well-being among the individuals by enhancing their positive aspects of personality. The main aim of positive psychology exercises are as follows :

  • develop a sense of optimism
  • foster positive attitudes (toward oneself, one’s subjective experiences, and life events)

Following are the 17 positive psychology exercises :

 About Me Worksheet

About me worksheet is a positive psychology activity that enables the individuals to be self aware. Self awareness is an important construct of positive psychology that helps the individuals to get to know oneself better, improve yourself well and improve your life.

The questions in this about me worksheet are as follows :

  • What are your greatest talents or skills?
  • Which of your talents or skills gives you the greatest sense of pride or satisfaction?
  • What talents or skills do you admire most in others?
  • What talent or skill do you wish to develop for yourself?
  • What are your five greatest strengths?
  • What do you feel are your two biggest weaknesses?
  • What are your best qualities/characteristics?
  • What behaviors, traits, or qualities do you want other people to admire in you?
  • What are the three most important things to you?
  • Do you spend as much time as you would like to on/with these things? Why or why not?
  • What makes it hard to be yourself with others?
  • How are you trying to please others with the way you live your life?
  • Who are the people with whom you feel ‘yourself’?
  • What three things are you most proud of in your life to date?
  • What do you hope to achieve in life?

After giving answers to these questions, an individual is better aware of his existence in life and his personal being. 

Expressing Gratitude

Gratitude is a major component of our life. Expressing gratitude enables us to look beyond our perspectives. Through expressing gratitude we are able to enhance our positive self awareness. 

Gratitude can be expressed by following exercises:

  • Write a letter to someone that you feel grateful to in life. This can be any individual who has made a difference in your life or has helped you ease your problem.
  • Make a daily list of gratitude. Mention every happening of the day that you feel grateful for in life. 

 Kindness Journal

The kindness journal activity in positive psychology helps you to mention the good things in your life, the kindness in people around you and the world you live in. This activity of positive psychology helps to increase the sense of happiness and pleasure in life. 

In a kindness journal activity an individual is instructed to write down daily all the acts of kindness performed by him in a day and all the acts of kindness that he witnessed other people around him performing throughout the day.

Three Positive Things

The three positive things activity in  positive psychology is based on daily writing three positive things of your day that were related to you. You are required to reflect upon the activities throughout the day and write  them all for a whole week everyday.

The three positive things can be small as a smile or big as doing charity work. For example someone can write “i did my tasks in time today” or  “i went to a voluntary talk show today”.

Finding Your Character Strengths

This positive psychology activity is based on finding out your own character strengths. In positive psychology it is believed that everyone has character strengths that are based on wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.

The therapist facilitates the client to identify and explore the character strengths so that the client is better able to utilize them and be mindful of them in the near future. 

Best Possible Self Exercise

This exercise of positive psychology is based on achieving your possible best outcome in future. The client is made to think about being whatever best version of himself he  has been thinking of becoming. The client is asked to imagine career goals, personal goals and skills that he would like to develop for the future. The client is then asked what is the best possible thing that you would like to happen to you in life?.

Self-Awareness Worksheet for Adults

The self awareness worksheet for adults helps the individuals to better connect with themselves and be better aware of their needs in life. The questions included in self awareness worksheet are as follows :

  • I was really happy when…
  • Something that my friends like about me is…
  • I am very proud of…
  • My family was very happy with me when I…
  • In school, I am very good at…
  • Something that makes me really unique is…

Daily Mood Tracker

The daily mood tracker exercise is based on positive psychology activity that enables the individuals to be mindful of their mood. Through this activity, the mood record of the individuals is able to be addressed and they are able to differentiate their pleasant and unpleasant feelings.

The mood tracker has three columns, the first column is for time of the day, the second column is for mood and the third column is for the behavioral effect of the mood.


Problem Solving Worksheet for Adults

The problem solving worksheet activity is based on the following steps :

  • Identify the problem. Break it down into smaller steps and decide what you need to do first.
  • Write down as many ideas as you can that might help solve the problem, no matter how silly they seem– don’t dismiss any possible solutions.
  • Weigh the consequences. List the pros and cons of each option.
  • Choose one of the possible solutions that looks likely to work, based on the advantages and disadvantages.
  • Decide and act. Describe what you will do. Explain your decision.
  • On a separate piece of paper, plan out step-by-step what you need to do to carry out this solution. What? When? How? With whom or what? What could cause problems? How can you get around these problems? Is this realistic and achievable?




Techniques for Disputing Irrational Beliefs (DIBS)

Positive psychology activities are largely based on growth and flourishment of the individuals. Disputing the irrational beliefs exercise helps the individuals to identify and suppress the irrational beliefs.

This exercise of positive psychology is based on following questions :

  • What self-defeating irrational belief do I want to dispute and surrender?
  • Can I rationally support this belief?
  • What evidence exists of the falseness of this belief?
  • Does any evidence exist of the truth of this belief?
  • What are the worst things that could happen to me if I don’t get what I think I must (or get what I think I must not get)?
  • What good things could I make happen if I don’t get what I think I must (or do get what I think I must not get)?

Your Core Values Worksheet

Core vale worksheet in positive psychology is an exercise used to identify and define core values of an individual. Through this exercise, knowing and identifying your core values can help you use them in a better way in life.

Some of the major core values are as follows :

  • Daring
  • Love
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork
  • Friendships
  • Performance
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Success
  • Challenge
  • Balance
  • Empathy
  • Loyalty
  • Humor
  • Inspiration
  • Independence

Goals Worksheet

Positive psychology enables the individuals to set smart goals in life that can be easily achieved and are also realistic. In positive psychology goals need to be SMART that means goals need to be :

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable or Agreed Upon
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Timely

This suggests that in positive psychology goals are meant to perform the following role :

  • Answer the “what, why, and how” questions about the goal.
  • Are short-term, and you will know when they have been attained.
  • Are hopeful and attainable.
  • Can be met with the skills and resources you currently have.
  • Allow enough time to be met.

 The guest house poem

In this positive psychology exercise, the therapist shares the following poem with the client 

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

The client is then asked the following questions :

  • How do you interpret the poem?
  • What emotions visit you most often? Why do you think that is?
  • How might it affect you if you welcomed all your emotions rather than denying them?
  • What benefits could there be in welcoming unpleasant emotions?
  • Can you relate to the feeling described in the line “violently sweeps your house empty of its furniture”? Have you ever felt this way?
  • How might you apply the message of The Guest House to your everyday life?

 Finding Your Own Example of Forgiveness

In this positive psychology exercise, the client is asked to share a story from their past life where someone had forgiven a person in their life. The client is then told to think about ways that the victim might have benefitted by forgiving the person. 

Later the client relates to the experience and recalls a time in life where he forgave someone. The client mindfully thinks about the benefits of forgiving the client achieved in life.

 Colored Candy Go Around

This activity is based on colored balls, candies or a colored marbles set. Each candy or marble or ball is assigned a question as below :

Green – What words describe yourself or your family?

Pink – What ways do you have fun as a family?

Orange – What things would you like to change about yourself or your family?

Red – What things do you worry about?

Yellow – What things do you like about your family?

This is a great family therapy activity to be used in positive psychology sessions. 

Each family member or a group member is invited and asked to pick a candy and answer the question associated with candy color. Through this activity we can easily understand the dynamics of a group or a family.

The Quicksand Anxiety Metaphor

The major aim behind this positive psychology exercise is to illustrate the drawbacks of experiential avoidance and the benefits of acceptance and mindfulness for anxiety.

The objective is to make the individual aware that escaping anxiety is many times similar to escaping a quicksand.

Often a person trapped in quicksand doesn’t understand that the best method is  to come into full contact with the quicksand and ‘get with it’ rather than fight against it.

The individual attempts the quicksand metaphor example to identify and accept his course of action in dealing with anxiety.

Last Impressions

The last impressions exercise is used in positive psychology to encourage and appreciate the client at the end of every session. The therapist uses following statements to appreciate and encourage the clients at the end of sessions :

  • “You sound very connected to your values, and you’re honoring them fully. Well done for stepping out of your comfort zone.”
  • “You made excellent progress during the session, particularly [talk about specific insight or achievement].”
  • “Your commitment to growth is unwavering.”
  • “I want to acknowledge the way you are taking responsibility by acting on what matters most to you.”
  • “I am struck by your courage and your ability to ___.”
  • “I believe in your ability to overcome this challenge.”
  • “I feel grateful that you shared your true feelings.”


The current blogspot was based on the question “

What are 17 positive psychology exercises?”. We learned the various aspects of positive psychology and also discussed the specific details of each positive psychology exercise.

Frequently asked questions : 17 positive psychology exercises pdf

What are positive psychology activities?

Following are some of the positive psychology activities :

  • Self-Care Vision Board
  • The Guest House Poem
  • The Passengers on a Bus Metaphor
  • Sensory Awareness
  • Positive Reminiscence
  • Gratitude by Mental Elimination
  • The Self-Compassion Pause
  • Benefit Finding

What are psychological exercises?

Psychological exercises are various techniques that are used with people to assess their present psychological state. The psychological exercises include the following:

  • an individualized exercise program
  • help people deal with the barriers
  • issues that restrict people’s participation in exercise
  • maximize a person’s enjoyment of exercise

What are positive activities?

Positive activities are  simple, intentional, and regular practices meant to mimic the myriad healthy thoughts and behaviors associated with naturally happy people.

How do you successfully teach positive psychology in groups?

Positive psychology can be taught successfully in groups through :

  1. Encouraging Experiential Learning
  2. Developing Group Cohesion
  3. Creating a Positive Learning Experience
  4. Using Positive Language
  5. Providing Clear Feedback
  6. Respecting Your Ethical Responsibilities