How do you plan a New Year when the one you love is not there?

This is the time of year when much of the discussion revolves around people’s plans for the New Year. Here in the Southern Hemisphere it makes good sense. One academic year has ended and another is about to begin. Many people have a lovely holiday. It is as if everything has worked up to that point and a lovely summer shutdown with all the public holidays is a wonderful opportunity to relax and reset. Going back to work/school is a whole new world. It is natural to review the year that has been and plan the year to come. Or at least decide what you would like to do in that year.

At this time of year it seems that everyone is talking about their plans for the year ahead. All the things they are going to do, wonderful of course. All the plans they have.

What do you do when the new year you have is not the one you want?

But you have experienced a loss. When each day is daunting, how can you set resolutions and make plans for the year ahead?

It can be difficult to get up after experiencing a loss. Facing the day seems so incredibly daunting. Emotions are high and staying in and away from others may feel safer than dealing with them.

All this is natural. Withdrawing is the automatic response of most people.

But here is a thought of what you might be able to do instead.

The Woman With The Disappointing Year in New York

I was reading about a woman who had a scholarship to study in New York for a year. She was so excited. She found herself a lovely apartment on Manhattan and looked forward to all the activities she was going to do while there.

Then she lost something.

It wasn’t the loss of a loved one, but the impact was still devastating. She lost the expectations of her wonderful year. She became very ill and found it hard to do her work or even get through the day. Suddenly her year and all her plans were shattered remnants.

She didn’t lose someone she loved, but she lost the person she was and the year she had planned. She realised this was as devastating for her as when she had lost her brother. The plans and expectations of her future were shattered.

How She Learned To Cope

Having been through grieving for her brother she had some ideas of how to cope. Having been through the worst years of grieving for him and emerging into a world that was less shattered, she realised there was something she could do.

Once she started picking up the pieces after her brother’s death, she found herself thinking of all the things she did with her brother that were good. She discovered things about him and the life they shared to be grateful for.

She never thought she could feel grateful, but she did.

The Challenge of Just Getting Through a Day

In this time where every day was a challenge to just get out the door she realised she could use gratitude to get her through.

If she made it out the door she was grateful for that. If she had to stay in bed she was grateful for those who supported her on those days. When all she could do was lie in bed and listen to music because she was too tired to read, she was grateful for her music.

At the end of the year she had achieved her study aims and lived as much as she could. She had done the things she decided were important and managed some days of just chilling and having fun with friends.

Learning To See Gratitude

Her year had not turned out as she had planned, but it had been a year of achievements, fun and a lot of good things. As time went on she realised that she remembered more the things she had done, than what she had been unable to do.

It was the same with her brother. Looking back over his life she remembered the good things. Yes it hurt, but she had survived.

This Path is Never Completely Alone

Another thing she realised is that in both memories – the year in New York and her brother’s life – there were people who walked alongside her and supported her. Not always, but often enough.

You are facing a New Year without the person you love. This year is going to be one of surviving. Of learning to live with their loss and grieve. Of learning to live again, eventually.

Along the way you will find people who care and want to be there for you. That might not be all the time, it might be someone you encounter in a day who is there and gone, but they were there to support you for that moment. Don’t be afraid to let in the people who are able and willing to support you. Be willing to ask for help and the support you need.

Just as other people see the New Year as a time of new beginnings, know that you are in a time of transition and new beginnings as you grieve for what you have lost. Don’t be afraid to step out into that new beginning. Find the time occasionally to be grateful for what you have. Some day in the future you may look back and see gratitude for what was there in your life that got you through this year.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your grief, please contact me on 0409396608 or

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here:

5 Ways To Navigate Christmas When Life Seems Far From Ideal

Traditionally Christmas is a time when people get together with their family. That is great if you have a family you are happy to get together with. But not everyone is in that position

Maybe your Christmas is marred by memories of someone you used to spend Christmas with but don’t anymore. Maybe it is because they have died, or you are estranged, or they have moved away.

Or maybe Christmas is a time of having to visit family when there are difficulties in relationships. When you feel you have to endure contact with people you are frightened of, or may have hurt you, or are downright unpleasant.

Or Christmas may be a reminder of past traumas.

The Cultural Importance of Christmas

Whether you like it or not, Christmas is important culturally for many people. There are those who believe in Jesus and see this time as a celebration of Jesus’ birth, often with family. There are also people who see Christmas as a time to have fun and catch up with family and friends.

If you watch the myriad Christmas movies that exist, you will see a constant message of people having a lovely, perfect time. Suddenly everyone is friendly and old rifts are healed. People are included. There is fun and laughter and all good things.

The reality frequently fails to meet the expectations of the movies.

Christmas Has Significance In Many Lives As A Time To Be With Others

The significance of Christmas as an occasion in our lives means that it takes on a significance that is hard to ignore. Few people report being happy to spend Christmas alone. Many experience stress at what to do for Christmas. Many are alone, and not happy about it.

Christmas can be a joyous time if you have people to celebrate with. But it can be a sad time if you have lost someone. It can be a stressful time if you have traumatic memories of past Christmases that were horrifying. It can also be a stressful time if catching up with some family members is far from pleasant.

An Experience of a Christmas With Gratitude

I recently had a conversation with a man who was facing yet another Christmas alone. He was estranged from his family after the death of his brother, and had experienced many lonely Christmases. He was looking for something different to do for Christmas and decided in the end to plan his own special Christmas camping somewhere he loved.

His choice for Christmas is not everyone’s idea of a fun Christmas. But his attitude may be helpful. He had decided last year he was going to stop fighting the fact that he was alone at Christmas and instead be grateful and seek gratitude in the season. His plans for this year were the result of that decision.

These are his tips for a joyous solo Christmas.

One. You Belong.

It is easy when on your own to think Christmas is not something for you. After all, the images we see everywhere of Christmas are of people in groups. But being on your own doesn’t mean you don’t belong.

You do belong.

He worked out a few years ago that looking for things in his life to be grateful for reminded him that he was loved and worthy even though he was alone. He saw Christmas as a time to have fun. To relax. To eat all the foods he felt he couldn’t eat at other times of the year. To indulge in special foods.

He listed all his friends and the way they showed throughout the year how much he mattered. So many of them had family Christmases and caught up with him at other times near to Christmas. Even though they couldn’t invite him to their family Christmas, often a long way away, he still belonged.

He decided to see Christmas as a time he may be alone, but not lonely. He decided to be grateful for the friends he had and the richness they brought to his life all year around.

He chose to see his life as a gift to himself and to others and decided to plan a Christmas that honoured this. In his case, it was to go camping in a favourite spot and spend a few days doing what he loved to do, knowing he belonged even if he was alone.

Two. Give Yourself Permission to be Real

He found that as a result of practicing gratitude he was able to accept his life exactly as it was. He didn’t try to deny the reality of his life. He accepted it for all its wonder and all its warts.

He was happy to realise he had given himself permission to see his life as it was and be okay with that.

He allowed himself time to feel the pain of the family estrangement. He allowed himself to be honoured by acknowledging this pain. What he found was that honouring that pain and giving it space did not make him miserable. It actually allowed him to accept what was and find joy in the things he decided to do at Christmas.

Life is full of hurts and absences. Fighting those things only makes it more painful. When you accept what is, you are able to find a way to move forward in life and find joy.

Three. Stop. Look. Go.

As he was researching gratitude he came across this practice of grateful living. The practice is to stop. To pause. To not rush into decisions, action, reactions, but to pause.

Once you stop, look around and within. What are you feeling? What opportunities can you see around you? What does your heart tell you?

Once you have given yourself time to examine your future direction and you are comfortable with what you have discovered, then proceed.

As you proceed keep stopping, looking and then going. You may need to try different approaches to see how they fit. You may have an idea and find you can’t proceed with it. You may start doing something and not be happy with it. Be ready to adapt what you are doing and to go on when you feel ready.

Four. Be Open to Opportunities

Last year, he discovered an elderly neighbour who was alone at Christmas, having just lost her husband. He decided to share his Christmas meal with her and give her a simple present at Christmas. The day turned out to be a special one for both of them, especially as the elderly neighbour died during the year.

He saw an opportunity and acted on it.

His planned camping holiday was another opportunity that arose for this year and he has decided to take it.

Being alert to opportunities is a way to honour your life for all it has to give and for all you are able to receive.

Five. Say Yes to Joy

This last point was one he was delighted to learn.

He felt to be happy, to experience joy, would be a betrayal of his brother.

Instead he found that his happiness and joy was there alongside his sadness at his brother’s death and his family estrangement.

He saw the reality of the advice he had read that joy can be present alongside sadness. That joy is an affirmation of life continuing. He also realised the courage it takes to hold the past in the present and experience joy alongside sadness.

He realised he wanted to enjoy Christmas and he chose to live it doing something he enjoyed. Yes it was going to have its sad moments, but it was also going to be a wonderful day.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about the things happening in your life, please contact me on 0409396608 or

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here:

Love And Accepting The Rites Of Grief

“My grief says that I dared to love, that I allowed another to enter the very core of my being and find a home in my heart. Grief is akin to praise; it is how the soul recounts the depth to which someone has touched our lives. To love is to accept the rites of grief.” ~ Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief

We lose so much in our lives. There is the obvious death of loved ones, of pets, of dear friends. There is also the loss of homes, jobs, health, fitness, for some, their country.

There are also the losses of dreams, community, nature.

There are too many losses in life to mention them all.

They all have something in common. You need to grieve for them.

The Unspoken Emptiness Inside

If you don’t grieve for the losses then you always have unprocessed grief, an emptiness, inside.

So many people have an unspoken emptiness inside. There is a hole there that you struggle to fill. The emptiness if the hole of unprocessed grief. It is a constant pain, sometimes sharp, but mostly dull. You try to push it aside, but it continues to gnaw at you and hide under the surface, waiting for an opportunity to resurface.

There are many in the field of unresolved grief research who believe that the desire for more in our society has its roots in unresolved grief.

People try to fill the hole by being busy, by frenetic activity, by buying more and more things, by wanting bigger houses and plenty of storage to hold the things that are accumulated.

People also try to control the external environment. Maybe you do that too. An obsession with bodily perfection, with having the perfect house, the nicest car, the picture perfect family, the right friends, the perfect kids, the helicopter cotton wool parent, the hothoused child.

The Myth Of Being Able To Control Your Life To Fill The Emptiness

All this is an attempt to control your life. It is a cover for the emptiness and feeling of being out of control inside. But controlling your external life does not fix the emptiness inside.

All that focus on external things does is deny you the necessary processing of your losses.

Losses are a core part of being human. Running away from the things that frighten you doesn’t make them go away. It makes them grow and become more problematic.

Gratitude, Humility and Reverence for Human Life

Instead you need to allow the pain. Be courageous and sit with that pain. You will find that the pain isn’t as large and insurmountable as you thought it would be. In fact, allowing yourself to feel the pain allows you to access great skills that help you heal.

These skills are gratitude, humility and reverence for human life.

This may sound very airy, but it isn’t.


Gratitude allows you to see those things in your day that you can be grateful for. Even on the worst days there is something to be grateful for. You don’t need to acknowledge gratitude through gritted teeth.

Sometimes the fact that you are alive is gratitude. Even when life seems too miserable to be alive there is still gratitude for that. Gratitude can be about people who in your day did something nice to you. The person who held a door open for you, the driver who let you out into the traffic when you were struggling to get out of a side street, the person who smiled at you and acknowledged your existence. These are just some examples of things you can be grateful for. You can also be grateful that you are breathing, that your heart is beating, that you can think, that you can explore things in your life to be grateful for.

Gratitude means looking for the good and not focusing on the negative.

Turning your attention to positive things is a great help in processing your grief.


Humility removes the sense of entitlement we all suffer from occasionally. The one that says bad things shouldn’t happen to us. The one that protests at the bad thing that has happened. When you humbly acknowledge that loss is part of being human you remove a burden caused by resisting what has happened and open the way to grieve and process the loss.

Humility doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be angry at what has happened. Far from it. If you are angry then honour that and allow yourself to acknowledge the anger. But allow that anger to dissipate when it is ready to go.

Do the same with other feelings you are experiencing. If you want to cry, then cry. Acknowledge what you are feeling and allow it be there.

Humility means you accept you are human. You accept that something has happened that you are upset about. That you have lost something that mattered to you. Humility means you accept that you are hurt and this is going to require some attention to allow yourself to feel and release the pain.


Reverence for human life is important. All life is important and deserving of honour. You are important and deserving of honour. You deserve to be shown kindness. And the person to give that kindness to you is you.

Other people are not always available to give you kindness. If they are, then their kindness is like a cherry on top of a beautiful cake. But your kindness is the beautiful cake. It is the comfort and support available to you all the time. Make sure you show reverence for your own life and give yourself the kindness you need and deserve.

Can I Help?

Sometimes you need help with the grief you are feeling and the pain. It can be difficult trying to find gratitude, humility and reverence for yourself and others. You may need to talk through all the emotions you are experiencing.

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your rites of grief, please contact me on 0409396608 or

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here:

Hope: A Vital Ingredient in Survival

Over the years I have worked with many people who are suicidal.

One thing I was introduced to early on in my suicide training was the concept of Hope.

What researchers have found is that Hope is a vital ingredient in survival. It is not possible to ask someone who has killed themself what was going through their mind at the time they took the actions to end their life. All researchers have been able to do is to ask people who took steps to kill themselves but survived. What researchers found was that people took the actions to end their lives when they had lost hope.

But hope does more than keep you from killing yourself. It also affects how you cope with life’s crises such as serious illnesses, bereavement, and financial reverses.

Hope is the first Dose

I was recently reading a book by W. Lee Warren “Hope is the First Dose: A Treatment Plan for Recovering from Trauma, Tragedy, and Other Massive Things”.

Dr Warren is a Brain surgeon who works with people who have Glioblastomas, a type of brain tumour.

He always struggled with how to help his patients as they struggled with this rarely survivable, aggressive cancer.

What Dr Warren did was to research how people manage with diagnoses of diseases that will never be cured. He observed his patients, and he researched as many papers on the subject as he could find.

What emerged was 4 patterns of response to the trauma. He named these responses Crashers, Dippers, Untouchables and Climbers.


These are people who seem to have their life together. They have faith in life and are happy. Then something bad happens and they crash emotionally. This crash changes them permanently. Even if the event that caused them to crash and lose faith in life is resolved, they never recover from it. This event becomes the focal point of their world view.

When I work with people who have experienced a traumatic event, such as a bereavement or a serious illness in themself or someone close to them, I frequently notice they have lost their faith in life.

Traumatic events are devastating. They very effectively remove all sense of the certainty of life and of the world as a trustworthy place. It is not surprising that people can crash and not recover without professional help.


Other people enjoy good lives and are doing well. Then when the traumatic event happens they lose their hope and faith in the world.

After some time they start to recover their hope and rebuild their faith in the world.

They learn how to bounce back, often with professional help.


There are some people who are in a bad place when traumatic events happen. Maybe they are struggling to be mentally healthy. Maybe they have a chronic illness. Maybe they struggle with addiction. Maybe they are just not happy with their life.

Traumatic events are accepted as though that is just another horrible thing happening in life.
What Dr Warren found was that the climbers would discover joy, hope and faith in the world. Sometimes they made this discovery on their own, other times the discovery was made after seeking professional help.

They would emerge from this event with a better outlook on life than before. For many their lives were transformed by this experience.

It is as though it gave them something tangible to work on and they were able to use skills they didn’t know they had to improve their outlook on life.


These are people who are seemingly unaffected by traumatic events. They just pick themselves up and get on with life. And they lead full, happy lives.

The Discovery about Survival

Dr Warren discovered that hope was the key in how people coped with traumatic events.

Those who held on to hope were the ones who coped well, even found life better afterwards.

From his observation, that holding on to hope depended on the ability to separate happiness from circumstances.


From my experience as a counsellor and in my own life, that ability is about gratitude. Being able to find things to be grateful for, no matter what is happening in life.

You can always find something to be grateful for, and that will change your perspective from one without hope to one with an abundance of hope.

Another aspect of holding on to hope is being able to accept the difficulties in life. It is about making a choice to see the traumatic events in life from a different perspective. To choose to heal.

This is what Dr Warren did when his own son died, and that is what you can do. It doesn’t change the traumatic events and their aftermath, but it does change your perception and willingness to heal.

Can I Help?

Sometimes it helps to talk to a counsellor to help you find that different perspective and to receive the support you need in difficult times.

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you, please contact me on 0409396608 or

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here:

When Pollyanna Makes Things Worse

In my work I often talk with people about gratitude.

The idea of gratitude is not always well received.

There are a lot of wrong ideas about gratitude.

Maybe you hold those wrong ideas too? I used to.


Do you think gratitude is all about being ultra-positive? About ignoring the bad things in life? Much like Pollyanna in the books?

Do you think expressing gratitude means you have to be thankful for the awful things that happen in life? (As if you could).

That is not what gratitude is.


Gratitude means you sit with what has happened in your day. In all the stresses and disappointments.

It means you acknowledge the bad things.

It means you acknowledge “that hurts”.

It means you honour the things that happen to you. You don’t push the bad things away. You sit with them and allow them to be. You allow yourself to feel the pain and disappointment. You allow yourself to hold and integrate the pain.


Did you know that allowing yourself to feel emotional pain. To feel the pain without fighting it. That once you feel that pain you can actually heal it.

That is not going to happen in a few seconds. It takes time for hurt to heal. As long as you are hurt, you are in pain. Allowing the hurt to take its time to heal will heal it faster. It will allow the pain to resolve sooner too.

It is possible to be hurt and learn to live with it, no longer being bound in the pain of the hurt.


You can do the same thing with things that have hurt you in the past. Those hurts you shoved down and tried to ignore. It is always possible to heal.

Hurt binds you. The pain traps you into patterns of behaviour designed to protect you. But allowing the hurt to be experienced and the pain to resolve will help.


Be curious about the hurts you feel. Don’t run from them. Don’t fight them. Give them your caring love and attention. Just as you would sit with a friend who is hurting, do the same for yourself.

As you visit those hurts, allow yourself to feel the pain. Allow yourself to be curious. Breathe into the hurt, just as you may have learned to breathe into physical pain to relieve it. Breathe calmly. Don’t turn or run away. There is nothing to fear in old hurts.


Sometimes it can be helpful to see a counsellor who can help you hold the space while you heal. You can learn to hold yourself lovingly and with compassion. You can learn to give love to the parts of you that are hurting.

When those hurts are no longer binding you into protective behaviours you make room to be the real you. To experience all the wonder and joy of life.

To feel better able to express gratitude.


And as for gratitude. Don’t ignore the bad things that happen. Maybe you ended a relationship but found a friend who comforted you. Be grateful for the friend who cared enough to offer comfort.

Maybe your car broke down, and you were running late for an appointment. But the roadside assistance came in the form of a man who acknowledged how hard this was for you. You can be grateful that he wasn’t rude and he was helpful and caring. That is something to be grateful for.

Maybe in all the stresses and worries of the day, in all the worries about finances, relationships, and work, you looked up and noticed the most spectacular clouds in the sky. And for a moment you stopped and admired their beauty. Be grateful for that.


Being grateful doesn’t mean you ignore the bad things. It is always a good idea when express gratitude to also express why. If you are stressed about life and see the clouds in the sky. You can be grateful that despite your worries there is still beauty.

If you are grateful for the caring mechanic who helped you when your car was broken down. Be grateful that in the midst of a stressful situation someone was helpful and caring.

Bad things happen and they hurt. But there is always something to be grateful for, no matter how insignificant. It is how you maintain hope in the bleakest circumstances.


If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with healing from life’s hurts and learning to express gratitude, please contact me on 0409396608 or

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here:

Gratitude does make a positive difference – if it is done properly

Times that challenge us physically, emotionally, and spiritually may make it almost impossible for us to feel grateful. Yet, we can decide to live gratefully, courageously open to life in all its fullness. ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast

In life there are good times and there are bad times. Sometimes the bad times knock you around so much it is hard to consider being grateful for anything. But gratitude is a choice.

You can choose to be grateful. To step out in courage. Because it does require courage to choose to be grateful. Gratitude allows you to live your best, most plentiful life.

Although gratitude as a therapeutic concept has been around for many years, it has become very popular lately.

I think it is a great idea. There has been much research into the impact our thoughts have on our mental well being. Filling our thoughts with the positives in our life has been shown to improve our health, our resilience and our overall mood.

It is true that the thoughts we fill our minds with have an influence on how we cope with life.


What concerns me is that there is a lack of understanding on how to practice gratitude in a helpful way.

Some people opt for the false happy statements. These ignore the understandably difficult things that happen in life and make gratitude statements that are not authentic.

The result is more pain as the ignored emotions are suppressed, only to emerge later in an amplified form.

Then there are the people who will write long statements about how miserable their life is and how badly treated they are. Then they will say they are grateful for something that has just been negated by their long sad statement.


Gratitude is finding the things in your life that you are grateful for amongst the stressful and sometimes horrible things that are happening to you.

You may be dealing with terrible grief but you are grateful for the wonderful friends you have who are willing to sit with you and care.

You may be struggling with the triggers of childhood trauma but you are grateful for the trigger today that you were able to manage.


The way I learned to express gratitude was to write down every day 10 things I am grateful for.

After I have written each gratitude point I write why I am grateful for that thing.

Once I have written the list, I go back and say out loud every gratitude and say “Thank you thank you thank you” after each one.


It helps to make a ritual out of this. If it is a ritual you pay more attention to it and take it more seriously.

Being grateful should be something you give thought to and enjoy doing.

As part of my ritual I write my list of ten gratitudes at the same time every day. Some people do it in the morning but I prefer to do it at night before I go to bed.

I also have a stone that is special to me that I hold in my hand, against my heart, as I say the gratitudes.

My stone is a piece of Ocean Jasper I bought in a crystal shop, but your stone may be one you found on the beach. It doesn’t have to cost money to have this stone.

The best stone is one small enough to hold in your hand. It should also be smooth with no rough edges to hurt you when you hold it.


There are obvious big things to be grateful for.

• I may have had a good day with something lovely happening and I felt so special.

• I may have walked on the beach and am grateful for that because the sand, water and breeze lifted my energy and left me feeling relaxed.

• I may have had a visit with a good friend and it felt to wonderful to chat and be together.

• I am grateful for my partner/children because of the love I feel for them.

There are things that I may have noticed during the day.

• The sunset was beautiful, and my spirits soared at the sight.

• I saw some birds in a tree and they were such lovely colours and I felt so happy seeing them.

• The sun was shining, and it was so lovely to sit in its warmth and feel at one with the universe.

There are the things we don’t think of to be grateful for.

• I am grateful for my feet that hold me up and get me places because it feels so great to be able to get things done.

• I am grateful that I have eyes that see the beauty around me because I feel so enriched by that beauty.

• I am grateful that my heart pumps constantly and keeps me alive because I love being alive.

• I am grateful that my stomach and intestines digest my food because then I am nourished and feel well.

Some other ideas.

• Being grateful for the opportunity to laugh at xxxx today because ….

• A good thing that happened at work that made me feel xxx because ….

• That other car letting me in when I needed to change lanes which I was so relieved at because I was getting stressed at the heavy traffic and I realised people do care after all.

The lists are endless.


It is easy to find one or two things to be grateful for. But when you need to find ten then you have to work harder and think outside the box.

This is when you start being thankful for the mundane things you take for granted.

It is when you start to realise how much about what your body does to keep you alive and functioning is something to be grateful for.

It is when you pay attention to the moments in your day looking for something to write down as a gratitude point.

When you do this, you start looking for the positives and focusing on them.

Yes there are negatives in every day, but there are also positives in every day.

Acknowledge the negatives, but don’t dwell on them. Attend to what you can change and let go of what you can’t.

Notice what is positive so that when the negatives feel overwhelming you have a long list of positives to reduce that feeling of overwhelm.


Here is a challenge.

• Start your own list of ten gratitudes every day.

• Write them in a dedicated notebook if you can. It works much better if you have somewhere dedicated to write them.

• Visit them when you need reminding of the positives in your life.

• Do them every day.

• Remember the little things you take for granted and acknowledge them too.

• Don’t forget to say “Thank you Thank you Thank you” after you have spoken every gratitude.