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“The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times”

– Zig Ziglar

If you want to find happiness, find gratitude. – Steve Maraboli

Giving thanks makes us all happier and healthier. Read below for a key gratitude practice you can use to instantly feel happier.

It was around lunchtime when I got home from the gym with my baby girl. I was running low on patience and fuel when I paused to make us a protein shake. Standing in the kitchen with baby underfoot, I twisted the cup to engage the blender. A familiar “vrrrrrooom”, an unexpected “pow!”, and suddenly the smell of smoke….

In a panic, I untwisted the cup to disengage the motor, and I could not have predicted what happened next. The blade attachment shot to my feet, and the contents exploded—covering the countertops, cabinets, appliances, kitchen rugs, and me and my baby head to toe with dark chocolate blueberry kale sludge.

I must admit that I shrieked like my arm had been cut off. Then, I looked to my daughter, who had safely dodged the falling blade and was now carefully watching for my reaction. Her eyes said, “Mama, do I laugh, or do I cry?”

In that moment, I had the power to give meaning to an ambiguous situation. So I laughed, and my little girl laughed with me. I felt a resounding, “Thank goodness!” at this opportunity to use a powerful gratitude practice.

So I began reciting aloud with enthusiasm every good thing I could appreciate about the mess I found myself in.

Later, I would write down the list and retell the story to others with overflowing gratitude. I’d taken an unexpected mess and turned it into a crazy-beautiful chocolate-covered afternoon.

Here’s my gratitude list in that moment:

  • Thank Goodness…we’re both safe!
  • Thank Goodness…we love this flavor! (because we’re covered in it)
  • Thank Goodness…the baby is finally eating something today! (off of my stomach and the floor and her leg and the wall…)
  • Thank Goodness…I made a double portion, so we still get a full meal out of it!
  • Thank Goodness…I needed a laugh!
  • Thank Goodness…I have no urgent appointment to get to–perfect timing!
  • Thank Goodness…we opted for the warranty—we’ll be getting a new kitchen appliance!
  • Thank Goodness…I finally have a reason to deep clean the kitchen—it’s been on my to-do list all week!
  • Thank Goodness…we get to enjoy our funnest meal yet—think edible mud castles and feeding each other what looks like poop!
  • Thank Goodness…it’s NOT poop! I said this like a mantra while cleaning and could not hold back the smile. So much to be grateful for!
  • Thank Goodness…we delayed bath time and now have the best reason ever to play in the tub.
  • Thank Goodness…she’ll probably nap after bath time, and I can get some writing done.
  • Thank Goodness, Thank Goodness, Thank Goodness!
  • Thank Goodness for this chance to reframe an unexpected setback as a fun challenge to learn from.
  • Thank Goodness…that by choosing gratitude and looking for the blessings, I turned this event into the highlight to my week and the inspiration for this article.

Life gets messy, especially when we’re growing. Luckily, when our plans blow up in our face, we can smile and look for the blessings here. We’ll find them every time.


So give it a try! The next time you find yourself dealing with a less than desirable situation,

  1. Take a slow, deep breath.
  2. Say, “I am so grateful….”
  3. Begin listing the gifts, learnings, and opportunities available here.

By focusing on the good, you shift your thinking from “Oh, no!” and “Why is this happening TO me?” to “Thank Goodness” that this is “This is happening FOR me”. Simply shift your thinking to gratitude, and feel the joy flow!

With practice, the shift to gratitude comes easier and easier, until it’s our natural state of being.

The next time life blows up in your face, how will you choose to feel?

To your wellness!

Summer Flowers Ricketts

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Sports Center of Morehead City

Certified DreamBuilder Coach, Fitness Educator, Weight Management Trainer

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