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Count your blessings on Blue Monday, says CofE

Nine out of 10 people count their blessings, reveals a YouGov survey for the Church of England commissioned for 'Blue Monday' (January 20), considered the most depressing day of the year.

More than half said being thankful for family and partners was their top blessing followed by health. @c_of_e will be asking twitter followers to tweet their blessings this Monday using the hashtag #countyourblessings

In a Church of England video released today http://bit.ly/1d54k7d Christian writer and broadcaster Brian Draper, talks about the 'low ebb' of 'Blue Monday' when the Christmas-shopping credit card bills roll in and the days are long and gloomy.

Rather than fast-forwarding, he asks how can we pause instead, to make the most of this time of year?  He suggests giving a hug or helping hand or performing a random act of kindness to a stranger like paying for coffee or simply smiling as you pass someone. "It's amazing how much joy is to be found within self-giving acts of love."

The Bishop of Chelmsford the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell said: "It's no surprise to find that 'Blue Monday' originated as a piece of PR puff and this is reinforced by the poll results. Happiness comes when we stop living our lives just for ourselves. The importance of family and partners highlights that when we are loved and show love it begins to make a difference to how we live and how we view the world. No wonder that the Christian faith places the self-giving love of Jesus at its heart. God can always provide affirmation even when the still important human affirmation lets us down"

The research also shows that the proportion counting their blessings every day increases with age, with one third of those aged 55+ counting their blessings every day, compared to one in six of those aged 18-24.   Women tend to feel more tired, depressed and overweight than men in January but on the other hand women are far more likely than men to count their blessings once a week or more often.

Notes

The full research can be found at www.churchofengland.org/media/1909453/blue%20monday%20yougov%20survey.xlsx

Audio of Brian Draper's message here http://bit.ly/1hxlaxD

Bishop Stephen Cottrell's New Year sermon on 'God's love in Jesus Christ is the gospel of happiness' can be found here www.chelmsford.anglican.org/godslove

More information on Brian Draper at www.briandraper.org

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