It has been a busy 2017 for many of us, with all sorts of ups and downs. For me, it’s a real privilege to be able to work with others to support them to get through the lows and to maximise the highs.

In my work, I encourage others to experiment with different tools and strategies to find what works for them. I also apply this same logic to myself. Over recent months, I have taken my own advice with the practice of daily gratitude. Fuelled by the knowledge that practising daily gratitude has a more significant and long-lasting effect on happiness than winning lotto does, I was motivated to give it a go!

Taking time to identify what we are grateful for is not a new concept, and like many others I have dabbled with this practice in the past. However, I have struggled to make it consistent, and as a result didn’t fully experience the benefits. With the help of reminders on my phone at a time of day where I’m likely to see them and actually take a few minutes, I have managed to establish a helpful routine of identifying at least one thing every day that I am grateful for or appreciate.

Be it a good day or a bad day, I can always find something – someone’s kind words or generosity, an achievement or sense of pride in something I have done, a simple pleasure like a walk in the sun, a sense of connection to someone else, or a bigger picture privilege like a warm house and drinking water from the tap.

Some days I come up with one thing, other days I readily find several. Some days this practice brings a quick smile, some days tears to my eyes, and other days a slightly begrudging sense of “Fine, it’s not all bad”. Now, I still have lapses – days where I forget or can’t be bothered – but I’ve also stuck with the habit long enough that I find it rewarding to do. With repetition, I’ve started to find it an increasingly positive addition to my day. I also find myself thinking about the positives I’m grateful for more frequently throughout the day, and noticing them with greater appreciation as they occur.

For me, gratitude is a practice done alone as I reflect on the day. That said, one of the most interesting parts of this experience has been my increased openness to sharing my gratitude with others, to truly thank people for things I have appreciated. The reactions I’ve had are especially rewarding, seeing someone else’s appreciation for a heartfelt “Thank you” fuels me to want to do more of the same.

So I ask you, what are you grateful for today? And I encourage you to create a habit of gratitude that works for you. I know I’m glad I did.

In the spirit of gratitude, I am truly grateful to our partners and clients for contributing to a busy and rewarding 2017. Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm for developing and promoting wellbeing. To those who have shared their time, stories, and experiences with me – thank you for your openness, honesty, and trust. I wish you all an enjoyable holiday season, with plenty to be grateful for. I look forward to enjoying sun on my skin, swimming in the ocean, and Christmas ham!

Written by Allanah