Perhaps surprisingly, the most recent personal well-being figures in the UK, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, show an increase in life satisfaction. That said, there was no change in terms of anxiety felt from June 2016 to 2017. With contributors to our overall happiness in life including a job that is fulfilling, being healthy and security in our relationships, there is a lot to juggle when seeking a sense of contentment. Of course, it’s not realistic to always be feeling on top of the world. But we’ve narrowed down the top 5 simplest ways to get you in a brighter mood and make you feel good.
Can Music Effect Your Mood?
Just split up with your partner? Give us all the break-up songs that we can scream along to in anguish. Getting it all out is likely to help get a sense of catharsis for you to then move on and build yourself back up. However, it’s the happy, upbeat music that’s scientifically said to encourage a more positive frame of mind. Upbeat music can have an effect in as little as two weeks, making you feel good and going on to actually improve physical well-being, salary and relationships.
Should You Use Food as a Source of Happiness?
When it comes to what you consume, especially when you’re feeling particularly low, often we’ll reach for the not so good stuff. Chocolate, ice cream, fizzy drinks and other snack foods might taste good, but they’re not necessarily going to lift your mood. In fact, you may end up adding sluggish and guilty on top of that raincloud already hovering over your head.
According to Diane M. Becker, Master of Public Health and ScD, healthy diets with lots of fibre and foods with low saturated fats will promote a boosted mood. Have bananas with your porridge in the morning. Bananas have B vitamin folate in them, helping against depression. Fancy something spicy? Add turmeric to your dinner dish to enhance your mood, or a side of spinach to assist with fatigue. For something to hit that sweet tooth, dark chocolate is also proven to help you feel less stressed.
Give Back & Donate to Charity
Whether it’s making a donation of clothes and other items lying around the house you no longer want to the charity shop or throwing some loose change into a bucket on the street. Giving back and helping others will make you feel like you’re actively making a difference, and someone somewhere will benefit from your kindness. You can even ensure the money you spend shopping online benefits others by using voucher code websites like Promo Codes For, who give 20% of their profits to a chosen charity each month. It really isn’t difficult to give to charity. And who doesn’t feel good when giving to charity and helping a good cause?
The Concept of Self-Care
An act strongly associated with millennials, who are said to be the generation most in-tune with themselves emotionally, self-care is all about taking the time out to look after number one. But it’s not just about treating yourself. It’s largely about executing mindfulness and being aware of what your body needs in order to maintain good mental and physical health. Often this has connotations of working out, meditating and eating well. But it also means taking time out when you need to and being comfortable in your own company, drawing a bath and making yourself go to bed and getting your full 8 hours.
With the constant battle to achieve perfection, it can also be about unplugging yourself from the likes of social media. Whatever it may be, check in with yourself and check out on the things in life that might be making you feel unhappy in the first place.
Socialise with Friends & Family
It’s obvious, really. Hanging around the people you love and get on well with is going to lift your mood. When you’re down in the dumps, sometimes the last thing you want to do is be around people, especially if they’re chirpy and you’re not. Determining when you need self-care or you’re just moping can seem like a grey area. Give allowing your friends and family to drag you out of the hole you’ve got yourself into a go. Socialising benefits both your physical and mental health and gives your brain a boost. Studies are even beginning to show socialising as lowering your chances of developing dementia. It’s worth getting out into the fresh air and being surrounded by the noise of your friends chatting. No one felt better feeling sorry for themselves for prolonged amounts of time. Hey, you may even end up having a laugh.
From the music you listen to, to the food you eat, small changes can make a difference to how your mood fluctuates. Take the time to listen to your mind and body. It’s important to remember ups and downs are par for the course, but you don’t always have to settle for feeling rubbish. Give your money to a worthy cause, eat bananas, dark chocolate and spinach and dance like nobody’s watching with your friends to your favourite happy songs.