Today’s columnist, Elaine Mitchell: Reasons to be grateful

A young couple consulting a financial planner at home
A young couple consulting a financial planner at home
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Sheffield was voted the happiest place to live in 2013, with around a third of residents saying they felt positive every day.

But we didn’t feature in the top 10 of the 2015 league.

This time of year often causes a dip in mood, there is the greyness that accompanies the turning back of the clocks, it all gets a bit damp, days are shorter and nights are longer.

Add into the equation our obsession with small talk and the weather and we are forever reminding ourselves and each other how damp, grey and miserable it is and we are.

With a simple switch in mindset you can be on your way to a living a life with the attitude of gratitude.

Gratitude is an amazing powerhouse. If allowed to develop and nurtured over a period of time, it can assist through times of stress, worry and when curveballs are thrown our way.

Some people are naturally happy and grateful. Ever glanced at someone’s circumstances and wondered how they cope with situations? Living in gratitude doesn’t mean that things won’t or can’t go wrong but it does mean that you can perhaps handle those things easier.

Gratitude is a skill that can be nurtured and developed. Many celebrities such as Oprah, practise gratitude and credit successes to being thankful and living in the moment.

I have seen and worked with people who are naturally pessimistic become much happier by practising daily gratitudes.

In fact it is one of the first suggestions I make to clients that they keep a gratitude journal.

There is a shift in emotions and physiology when gratitude is practised on a regular basis.

Side effects often include more laughter, a calmer approach, the ability to handle difficult situations and my favourite, frequent smiling.

It works as it shifts the mindset and opens up opportunities.

How?

At the start of each day make a list of 10 things you are grateful for.

At the end of the day make another list. Try this for a week, preferably a month to discover your side- effects.

I am involved in a group which uses gratitude on a daily basis and there have been many positive effects on mental and physical health.

External events have an impact but it is how we deal with the events as individuals which dictates our attitude and what we show the world around us.