I am sure we’d all be healthier if we made a good start to the day. For years we were told to start the day on an egg. Or that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. When I was boy my brother and I started the day with a spoonful of malt.

I’m not sure why, but it happened, like clockwork, just before going out of the door and off to school. It was sweet and always welcomed. Unlike the spoonful of cod liver oil which was also dispersed with equal regularity.

How we start the day matters, and more than we appreciate apparently. It matters because breakfast, so we are told, is the most important meal of the day.

So if our mega mix of granola and yoghurt is the essential vogue to a healthy body then what of the soul? Recently released stats point to the fact that one in four of us will suffer with a related mental health issue over the next year.  25% of us will be poorly on the inside. That place no one can see. Yet just because it’s not seen doesn’t mean it’s not real. Or a genuine illness. Or something that we all need to treat seriously.

We’re all under pressure. Some of it we have no control over, and some of it we do. We need to be careful, thoughtful and reflective over the manner in which we conduct our lives. And in looking after our emotional and mental health there is much for us to consider. But for today here is just one thought – let’s start each day with gratitude. That’s right – be thankful.

Why?

Because our current entitlement culture is not making us happy it’s making us mad and such madness is filling us with stress and anxiety. It appears we’ve lost the art of grace that weaves a rhythm into life that allows for the free movement of praise. Yes, gratitude is that quality which reminds us life and every day that presents itself to us is a gift.

Stop what you are doing right now and take a deep breath. Go on fill your lungs with oxygen and already you are going to me more energised and clearer thinking and less tense. Just for the sake of a deep breath – a breath that you took without cost. Now let’s be grateful for that breath. And repeat.

So here it is in the simplest of things the most potent of medicine. Gratitude is not only the best way to start the day but equally the best course of action to lead us through it.

As a boy taken along to church at the weekend – malt in mouth and cod liver oil trickling into my gullet we would often sing a song: ‘Count your blessings, name them one by one…’ Good advice then and now. So go on and make a start. And here’s one blessing to get you going: Oxygen.