Try the GLAD technique to foster gratitude and push out negativity
I am going to date myself with this question: Do you remember the “Saturday Night Live” skit featuring Stuart Smalley? If not, a quick online search is worth the effort. (You may just learn something … more on that later!)
Stuart Smalley is a character invented and performed by Al Franken. If you don’t know who he is, Senator Franken (Minnesota) was a comedian, actor and writer prior to his current gig. Stuart Smalley starred in a self-help show called “Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley.” It used to make me laugh. A lot.
Though his was satire, many of my friends and I practice a less corny and more effective version of a daily ritual called being GLAD. GLAD is an acronym for Gratitude, Learning, Accomplishment and Delighted.
GLAD is an easy practice for those of us who need to remember that even in the midst of problems, challenges or adversity, we can be thankful for something. It helps put things in perspective — things really aren’t as bad as they may seem.
All you have to do is think of — or even journal — the following:
· Gratitude – What is one thing I am grateful for on this day? This absolutely should be the easiest thing to think of.
· Learning – What is one thing that I learned today? This shouldn’t be hard, but sometimes it is. It can be about yourself, about another person (keep it kind!) or just a fun, new fact.
· Accomplishment – What is one thing that I accomplished today? It doesn’t have to be major, but it does have to matter.
· Delighted – What is one thing that delighted me today? What made me laugh, smile or feel joy today? I promise you will smile again when you think of it.
Something that often delights me is when my friends share — in the moment — that I made their GLAD list, or when they have made mine.
I wish I had done this exercise consistently with my son as he was growing up. I am grateful he will be home for Thanksgiving, and I plan to give it a try then. I am sure he will roll his eyes at me, but I know he will love it when I make it about him!
There is so much to be GLAD for in our lives. Taking time to remember that is an important part of living a positive life.
Know that I am grateful that you read this. I hope you learned something and that you will try this exercise (which would be an accomplishment) and feel delighted that you did!