By Jodi Milner

Jodi Milner author/bio pic

Over the course of the last few weeks, this Strong Mom Tips column has discussed different ways to uncover more “lucky” moments in your day-to-day life. These moments might be something you’ve worked for, something you’ve stumbled on, or a happy mix of both.


The first “finding good” article in this series was all about making time for self-care and how it’s especially important for moms and primary caregivers to seek out time for themselves to recharge. The next article, “Seek Out Rainbows” focused on awareness with an emphasis on noticing the good in the world around you. Last week’s article centered on how often what we refer to as lucky in someone else, is actually the result of hard work that we don’t see. This article encourages everyone to create their own luck by focusing on important goals with the intention of completing them.

There’s a lot of good to be found between those three different ideas. Our focus this week is allowing ourselves to accept and appreciate these good or lucky moments, even if the moment itself was something that we put time and effort into making achieve. Often, when something lucky happens it’s too easy to shrug it off and move on with our lives instead of appreciating it.

Taking time to express gratitude helps rewire your brain for the better

When we take the time to acknowledge and express gratitude for a lucky or good occurrence, our brain treats it as a reward. Our brains love these little rewards and give us a small hit of dopamine in return. Dopamine is the feel-good chemical. It serves to lower stress, which in turn can lower blood pressure and heart rate. It’s literally healthy to take a moment and express gratitude. In turn, the more we get into the habit of expressing gratitude, the easier it gets, and the more often we receive that uplifting boost. Even better, it can bring joy to those around you as well.   

[Dopamine] serves to lower stress, which in turn can lower blood pressure and heart rate. It’s literally healthy to take a moment and express gratitude.

The next time something good or lucky happens to you, take 10 seconds to express gratitude. Say you spot a rainbow or a butterfly. Or, that lip gloss you’ve been looking for turns up under the seat of the car. Maybe you earn enough to finally treat yourself to that massage you’ve been craving.

In that moment, take a deep joyful breath, smile, and say or think to yourself, “Wow, I’m so glad that happened.”

Teaching gratitude in the moment

In my household, gratitude was something we had to teach our kiddos actively. For our spectrum kiddo, it wasn’t enough to be a good example. I had to be very clear about what I was doing and why if I wanted him to catch on. Often it meant literally saying things like, “I did something nice for you. Say thank you and smile to let me know that you appreciate the help.” 

Going forward, we’re working on being good examples of showing our gratitude for the good things that happen every day.

Discussion question: What good have you taken the time to be grateful for today?


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