How to be happier

Here are 6 great tips to help you to be happier, more in control, and able to cope better with life’s ups and downs.

1. Manage your stress levels!

Having a lot of stress in your life can impact greatly on your mental health. You need to find ways to reduce stress such as self-care and learning time-management techniques. Try taking regular exercise or take time for yourself. Breathing exercises can also help reduce anxiety and stress levels.

2. Enjoy yourself!

Doing things that you enjoy is good for your mental wellbeing. This could be as simple as watching sports, having a bath, or meeting up with friends. Doing something you are good at, such as cooking or dancing, is a good way to enjoy yourself and provides a sense of achievement. Try to avoid activities such as drinking which may be enjoyable at the time but leaves you feeling worse afterwards.

3. Boost your self-esteem!

Self-esteem is the way you feel about yourself. The best way to improve this, is by treating yourself as you would treat a valued friend, in a positive but honest way. If you find you are putting yourself down, consider what you would tell a friend. Swap the negative thoughts for positive ones.

4. Have a healthy lifestyle!

Limit your alcohol intake. Although it can be tempting to drink to ‘numb’ your feelings, this can leave you feeling worse and depressed, or lead to aggression.

Choose a well-balanced diet as this will make you feel emotionally stronger. Taking positive action will help to boost your self-esteem. A good diet also has physical benefits and helps your brain and body to work efficiently.

Make time for exercise, even moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood. It can help you to sleep better and has huge physical benefits. Choose an exercise that you enjoy as this will help to keep you motivated or ask a friend to join you. Aim for 150 minutes a week.

Get plenty of sleep, aim for 7-8 hours a night to allow your body and mind to fully rest. Try writing a “to do” list for the next day before you go to bed so it can help organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions.

5. Talk and share!

Communication is key, whether it is with a friend, family member or counsellor. Talking about your thoughts and feelings can help release tension and lead to stronger relationships.

6. Build your resilience!

Resilience is what allows you to cope with life’s ups and downs. It is important to make something worthwhile out of painful times. This could involve starting a support group or making something creative out of bad experiences. Writing, painting, and singing are all great ways of expressing pain and getting through hard times.

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