Rainy days are wonderful occasions on which to exercise gratitude. Why?
Several years ago someone asked me “Where do you get to live if you don’t ever get rainy days?’
The answer is; you get to live in a desert.
Think about that for a moment.
Speaking for myself, I love green grass, trees, flowers, and farmers’ fields full of food crops in the summer and early fall. I love the sound of babbling brooks, and am especially fond of the fact that every day I have clean water to drink. For those of us who live surrounding the Great Lakes, we can be grateful for the commercial and recreational opportunities they provide us with.
Rain – and snow – may often be perceived as inconvenient, however, they really do serve a purpose. Both contribute to building our water tables, deep below the earth’s surface. They provide a valuable source for growing and maintaining life.
In recent years studies have shown that expressing gratitude for the good things that life gives you, makes you feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, you will express yourself, and even behave, differently – more confidently – in your relationships with others. The difficult conversations you’re been avoiding may seem less daunting as you adapt a more positive outlook. For people who have experienced any type of trauma, gratitude helps to re-wire the brain so they can get un-stuck and focus on moving forward.
Exchanging gratitude for complaining does wonderful things in your brain. Some of the things that are positively affected by expressing gratitude regularly are:
- Lessening of the symptoms of depression;
- Lowering of anxiety, resulting in better quality of sleep;
- An increase of dopamine, the ‘pleasure’ chemical in your brain.
Here’s a challenge for you: the next time it rains, or something else inconveniences you, think about a benefit in the situation, and then offer gratitude for it. Actually say, “I am grateful for …this rain …this snow …the warm temperatures …the cooler temperatures …the clouds …the sun …whatever.” Say it two or three times.
Then notice how you feel. Pay attention to any shift in your mental attitude. You may even notice a spring in your step, a smile on your face, or a relaxing of muscles in your stomach or shoulders.
Who doesn’t want to feel better about themselves and be more at ease in their interactions with others?
Besides, without rainy days, children wouldn’t have puddles to splash in. Remember doing that? Those were happy and carefree days and kids demonstrated their gratitude by enjoying them.
Practice gratitude every day, all day. Gratitude really is good for you!