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Celebrate the good

Play a feel-good game

At your next gathering of friends or family, bring everyone together to try these Heart Warmer cards. They’ll help you and your loved ones share personal stories, accomplishments, moments of joy, and gratitude. And while this kind of conversation can be meaningful for anyone, it can be especially healing for people facing grief, illness, or other types of adversity.

The cards are based on research that supports the idea that setting aside time to focus on positive moments can have a powerful impact on mood and outlook. Celebrating small victories can bolster confidence.1 And counting our blessings can actually improve our health and happiness in a lasting way.2

You can view the cards on your computer or phone, print and cut them out, or order a deck.

Here’s how you play: Take turns picking a card and reading the question out loud to the person on your left. That person should answer the question, and then they choose a card and read it to the person on their left. Make your way around the circle. Some cards have an optional “Put it into action” step that gives you a way to bring the lesson into your daily life if you choose. That can help extend the positive impact of the cards—and the conversation.

Endnotes

  1. Martin E. P. Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park, and Christopher Peterson, “Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions,”American Psychologist 60 (2005): 410– 21.
  2. Joyce E. Bono, Theresa M. Glomb, Winny Shen, et al., “Building Positive Resources: Effects of Positive Events and Positive Reflection on Work Stress and Health,” Academy of Management Journal 56 (2013): 1601– 27.
  3. Adam M. Grant and Jane E. Dutton, “Beneficiary or Benefactor: Are People More Prosocial When They Reflect on Receiving or Giving?,” Psychological Science 23 (2012): 1033–39.
  4. Martin E. P. Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park, and Christopher Peterson, “Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions,”American Psychologist 60 (2005): 410– 21.