by Heather Quackenboss, Human Development and Relationships Educator, Extension La Crosse County

What are you grateful for today? Sometimes, we find ourselves caught in wanting something more, or we have a goal to get something better. But, having something more does not always help our wellbeing. Research from positive psychologists like Sonja Lyubomirsky and Shawn Achor have shown us that gratitude is a major factor in increasing our wellbeing and happiness. Being grateful for what we have is a skill that truly does need to be practiced.

Gratitude practice will look different for each of us depending on how much time or effort we want to put in, how we recall things the best, and what works for our day to day life.

– Write one to five things you are grateful for each day or week.

– Write a paragraph or journal about what you are grateful for, either every day or once per week.

– Include “things we are grateful for” at family meals, bedtime, or at a similar time when your family is together each day.

– Notice the little moments that you can be grateful for:  – I made it through the green light  – I talked to an old friend today  – I had a great bagger at the grocery store

– GLAD Technique – Emily Roberts, from the gives us a technique that broadens gratitude and gives us the opportunity to expand on our day or week:

GGrateful – list one thing you are thankful for today (no matter how small)

LLearned – write one fact, skill, or something you discovered today

A Accomplishment – write one accomplishment that you had today

D Delight – list one thing that brought you joy today or pleased your senses

Resources and more information:
Achor, S. (2011). The happiness advantage. Cambridge, MA: Enterprise Media.
Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). The how of happiness: A practical guide to getting the life you want. London: Piatkus.
Roberts, E. (2014, October). Negative Thoughts Consuming Your Mind? The G.L.A.D. Technique. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from