Let Gratitude Enliven Your Step

— Written By Christine Smith and last updated by Kim Davis

Last week we shared with you four of nine gratitude tips for dancing in the rain. The term, “dancing in the rain” is a metaphor for dealing with the storms that will come our way as we journey through life. Today’s article concludes our dance lesson by sharing the remaining five tips on being grateful in the midst of the storm.

  • Look for the lesson in every day experiences.   It’s okay to make mistakes. However, the key is to learn from them and use them as an opportunity to grow. I have found I learn more from my failures that my successes. What do you mean? When things come easy you may miss the challenge, however if you have to work through your mistake you learn a lesson that is not soon forgotten.
  • Make gratitude a habit.  Do you make a conscious effort everyday to find things to be grateful for? I highly recommend starting a gratitude journal. It’s a great way to keep you in a thankful and positive state of mind. On a daily basis write down at least three things three things you are grateful for. Look deep into your life don’t use obvious choices such as family, home or pets. Look for areas in your workplace, while you are running errands, or on your daily commute it is amazing what you will find.
  • Express your gratitude. How many times a day do you thank someone for the things they do for you? We are all guilty of failing to acknowledge the good deeds done by others. Slow down. Take time to acknowledge and praise someone today for the role they play in your life. Sometimes we are quick to complain; however in doing this we pass up the opportunity to give thanks and see our many blessings.
  • Teach others how to be grateful.  Gratitude is contagious you catch it from other people or they catch it from you. Let others see the happiness that gratitude brings to your life and soon they will want to be grateful for all the wonderful things in their life. Gratitude can not be spread by scolding or preaching, you spread it by living it. As Gandhi wisely said, “We must BE the change we wish to see in the world.”
  • Create your own future.  If you look for problems in your life, your life will always be filled with troubles. If you want a brighter future, it is necessary for you to think about wonderful things in your life to be grateful for. Learning to have an attitude of gratitude will help you to dance in the rain when the storms of life pass our way.

Gratitude is a daily practice allowing you to be present in the moment. People who practice daily gratitude live happier and more abundant lives. Now you have the tools to go outside and practice your dance steps!

Thoughts to Ponder:

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~ Carl Bard

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. ~ Charles Dickens 

Christine Smith is an Extension Agent in the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, NCSU, Wayne County. Information on other services available can be found online at http://wayne.ces.ncsu.edu/or call me at 731-1525 for additional information.