When we find ourselves in tough situations, it can be difficult to grasp that things can get better. The good news is that there are ways to combat feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress through mindfulness. These tips and tricks are taken from The Mindfulness Toolbox by Donald Altman.
Delight in life: hearing a bird chirp, seeing a colorful flower, laughing at a funny joke, tasting food, returning a smile, noticing the pleasant sensation of water on your hands while washing the dishes, etc.
One tool to practice mindfulness when experiencing depression is the G.L.A.D. technique. G.L.A.D. stands for gratitude, learned, accomplishment, and delight. It is an acronym for ways of finding joy and balance. It works by paying attention to certain positive aspects of life that are around you all the time, but which frequently go unnoticed. To begin, let’s break down the letters.
G –One Gratitude that you’re thankful for today
• This can represent the most basic gratitude, such as having food and water, sunlight, a body that works well enough, a roof over your head, etc.
• Your gratitude might also be about appreciating those truly significant things in your life— such as a devoted relationship, meaningful work, a caring community of friends, and robust health that allows you to experience life to the fullest, etc.
L –One new thing you Learned today
• This can be something you learned about yourself today, such as noticing an insight or wisdom that you possess.
• It could mean having an open attitude so that you can discover something new and interesting about another person (even someone you have known for a long, long time).
• This might just have to do with learning a new fact or gaining a new perspective on something— and that might make you happy because it is fun to be curious and to learn.
A –One small Accomplishment you did today
• Often, we mistakenly believe that an accomplishment has to be something super-sized. In truth, an accomplishment can be that ordinary act of self-care that you did for yourself or another.
Examples might be:
– Getting enough sleep.
– Not skipping meals and getting enough nourishment.
– Getting dressed in the morning (highly underrated!).
– Doing anything that moves you (even slightly) toward reaching a long-term goal.
D –One thing of Delight that touched you today
• Consider anything that makes you laugh, smile, or brings you joy.
• This can be a thing of beauty that you notice during the day.
– Examples could be hearing a bird chirp, seeing a colorful flower, laughing at a funny joke, tasting food, returning a smile, noticing the pleasant sensation of water on your hands while washing the dishes, etc.
Use a journal or your notes app to keep track of your G.L.A.D items. Try doing this exercise every day for the next week, soon you’ll realize that you’re picking up G.L.A.D mindfulness in everyday activities.
Try out this technique and explore some more in The Mindfulness Toolbox by Donald Altman. Self-awareness helps guide us to wholeness. You got this ladies!