Friday 30 December 2016

How To Become A Better And Happier Person In 2017


The past year has been extremely stressful for multiple reasons.

The country was divided after Brexit, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States despite a series of controversies including a record of racist and sexist behaviour, the refugee crisis continued to worsen and we lost many of our favourite idols.

But 2017 is on the horizon and we're determined to make it a better, happier and more fulfilling year.

So if you’re still looking for a new year's resolution, why not prioritise your mental health.

Here are the simple ways to ward off bouts of stress and become a calmer, happier person in 2017.

1. Get active outside

Everyone knows exercise is great for your physical health, but it also does wonders for your mental health.

Research also shows that getting out in nature can alleviate symptoms of depression and significantly increase your mood. So why not combine them both and get outside for a run or even a gentle stroll as often as you can.

2. Book an adventure

They say "travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer" and it looks like they are right.

Planning a break away can increase happiness levels, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life. Just the anticipation of the trip is enough to boost your mood, the research revealed.

While another study confirmed that spending money on experiences over material items will bring greater joy – so get booking!

3. Take a media break

Alarming statics reveal one on four people in the UK experience some kind of mental health problem each year.

A further 17 out of 100 people feel so low that they suffer with suicidal thoughts.

This year has been pretty tough to handle and its no wonder stress levels in the UK have reached a new high.

And if you’re feeling down from all the horrible news of 2016, maybe it's time to take a break from media for a while.

Research shows that constant exposure to negative news can have a detrimental impact on mental health. It's good to be informed, but if exposure to the media is weighing you down maybe take a small break.

4. Cut down on alcohol

After an indulgent festive period, most people plan to cut down on alcohol and this is a great move for you mental health

Having the occasional red wine probably won't hurt but heavy drinking rewires brain, increasing susceptibility to anxiety problems.

5. Do nice things for others

If you want to feel good, do good! Whether it's climbing Kilimanjaro for charity or helping your neighbour put up a shelf, helping others is a great way to boost your mood.

Not only is it good for the people you are helping and a kind thing to do, it also makes us happier and healthier too.

Giving to others is also a great way to connect with new people and create a stronger sense of community – which helps build a happier community for everyone.

6. Be part of something bigger

People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel more in control and get more out of what they do.

They also experience less stress, anxiety and depression.

But where can you find that purpose? Everyone finds it in different places, so try thinking about what is important to YOU - whether it's becoming a parent or getting promoted at work.

7. Find ways to bounce back

It's not all going to be plain sailing and life can be hard, but humans are very good at adapting and moving on.

We often cannot choose what happens to us, but in principle we can choose our own attitude to what happens.

In practice it's not always easy, but research has found that resilience, like many other life skills, can be learned.

So next time something negative happens in your life try taking a step back and thinking about the best way to deal with it.

Be kind to yourself, give yourself time to feel sad but try and help yourself by doing things you enjoy and being around people who love you.

8. Connect with people

Being around people who care about you is the best way to lift your mood. Research shows that people with broad social relationships are happier people.

So if you need a boost pick up the phone, visit a friend or simply start up a conversation with someone new.

Having people in your life also increases your feeling of self-worth and belonging.

9. Notice beauty in the world around you

If you can notice something positive or beautiful about the dullest of days you're likely to become happier over time.

Learning to be more mindful and aware of the positive things in life helps re-focus feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

So live in the moment and think of something or someone that makes you H-A-P-P-Y!

10. Give therapy a shot.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking mental health support. Experts agree that talk therapy is incredibly beneficial to sorting through and managing any negative emotions or behavioural health issues.

If you think you might be suffering from depression or anxiety see your doctor and asked to be referred to a therapist or seek one out privately.

If you just want to talk to come one over the phone call the Samaritans on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email, or visit to find details of your nearest branch.



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