To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on The GLAD Technique, please bring kind awareness to
– why you chose this topic
– how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic
– the emotions that you can associate with these visceral feelings
– the positive or negative impact of any stories you believe in regarding this topic
– the consoling/humbling/inspiring fact that many others are feeling similarly about this topic as you
– how you will feel with increased awareness around this topic
– when you can apply increased mindfulness to this topic in your day-to-day life
Have you ever noticed how much a negative mental narrative can affect our lives? Imagine two people winning the second prize in two different competitions. One of them is delighted for the result achieved, while the other one beats himself up for not having won the first prize.
These is how most of us experience our life. We see it through the window of our own perspective and let our mental narrative color our days.
Leonard Cohen once said: “The voices in my head, they don’t care what I do, they just want to argue the matter through and through.”
The good news is that, once we know this, we can alleviate our suffering by reconditioning our mind to focus on the positive. The GLAD Technique is a very useful tool to learn to distill our days into positive snippets so that we can cherish the positive ad avoid getting stuck on the negative.
Applying the GLAD Technique is very simple. All we need is a journal (a notebook or a text file work too) in which we can record one thing we are grateful for (G), one think we learned (L), one thing we achieved (A), and on thing that delighted us (D) during our day. These don’t need to be huge: we might have learned how to make a new kind of omelet or be grateful for a friend’s phone call. We might have cleaned our window or be delighted by the weather.
What’s important is that this practice is maintained with some consistency. Although in the beginning you might find practicing the GLAD Technique somewhat difficult, after a while it will become second nature. You’ll notice that your mind will start searching for the positive within your day, so that you can later record it, and will stop taking notice of the negative.
As we train our minds in this way, we’ll also collect more and more positive memories and, in the long run, we will have a sense that our life is actually quite delightful. We might even start each day with a subtle sense of anticipation and wonder at what will come up during the day.
So, what will you notice today?
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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