Gratitude is being thankful or “counting our blessings”. It is about noticing simple pleasures, acknowledging everything you receive and focusing on what you have got rather than what you haven’t got.

Now more than ever, when we are in the midst of the coronaviris epidemic, is the time to be grateful for what we do have. So much of what we have previously taken for granted – hugging loved ones, catching up in cafes, family gatherings, employment, secure housing, travelling, health, the list is endless – has been taken from us (with some peoples lives severely impacted on).

Countless research studies show that practising gratitude can make you happier, healthier, friendlier, more resilient, creates better relationships, increases self esteem and reduces depression and stress. Almost sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? And it is free!

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to practise gratitude – list three things (or more) that you are grateful for each day, this can be done first thing in the morning, or before you go to sleep at night. Writing them down helps embed feelings of gratitude in your brain. The gratitude journal can then be something that you look at when you’re feeling a bit down.

Sometimes you might find it hard to find something to be grateful for, especially if you are experiencing significant turmoil. Keep it simple! Some simple things you might be grateful for are: the sun braking through the clouds on a rainy day, a hot shower, a cup of tea in the morning, a flower outside your house, birds singing, a smile from a stranger, comfy slippers etc.

“When I started counting my blessing, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson