By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
A study has found that 7 in 10 of us are experiencing ‘September Blues’ – back to school, back to work, darker evenings – we all need a little pick-me-up at this time of year!
Dr Andy Cope has spent 15 years researching positive psychology and is the UK’s first Doctor of Happiness. He is best-selling author of ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’, ‘The Little Book of Happiness’, ‘Shine’ and ‘Zest.’
40 winks: Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that enables you to live longer, enhances your memory, makes you more creative, more attractive, slimmer, wards off flu, lowers your risk of heart attack and results in raised levels of happiness. Are you interested? Sleep! Treat yourself to the full 8 hours. It’s like winning the happiness lottery.
Hydrate: The modern addiction to tea, coffee and sugary/caffeinated drinks results in dehydration. Without going into too much science, dehydration can cause muscle cramping, weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and nausea.
So, treat yourself to the ultimate zero-calorie, life-replenishing, sugar-free drink… water. Top feel-good tip; quench your body’s thirst with a drop of refreshing water. Regularly! Sparkling water is a great way to make those everyday hydration moments that bit more special!
Fall in love with Mondays: Research from Highland Spring deemed Monday as the worst day of the week for feeling downbeat. Nobody likes Mondays and everyone celebrates Fridays. Dare to buck the trend. Stand up for Mondays! You spend a 7th of your life on Monday so quit waiting for the weekend and learn to love the start of the week.
Count your blessings: If you ever have trouble sleeping, instead of counting sheep, try counting your blessings. In your mind, run through what you’re grateful for, starting with A and finishing with Z. Apples, I love the crunch. Bed, there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Coffee, the smell of a fresh brew is the perfect start to my day.
Be a hugger: The average hug lasts 2.1 seconds but for the love to transfer a hug needs to last 7 seconds or longer (but be warned, counting out loud spoils the effect!).
Quit dieting: Quit whatever faddish diets you’re on and make the decision that, for the rest of your life, you’re a healthy eater. Just decide. Do it. Become that person. It helps if you lose the word ‘try’. Don’t tell yourself ‘I’m going to try and be a healthy eater’, tell yourself ‘I’m going to be a healthy eater’.
Less anti-social media: No explanation required, other than to remind you that in terms of happiness, one true flesh and blood friend will bring you more happiness than 1000 Facebook ones. Cut your social media by 50% and spend time with real family and friends instead.
‘Experience’ the next 12 months: The general rule is that happiness comes from doing stuff rather than accumulating stuff. You’ll realise that the top 10 happiest moments of your life are ‘experiences’ rather than ‘products’ so set your stall out to have more experiences.
We’re all smart. Distinguish yourself by being kind: The science of positive psychology tells us that the quickest way to make yourself feel good is to do a good deed for someone else. It can be as simple as letting someone out in the traffic or buying flowers for the bus driver.
If you get it right, the feel good-factor reverberates with the giver and receiver.
Give up! Feeling amaaaaazing is about starting new happiness habits, but it’s equally about giving up bad habits. Ask yourself, what am I willing to give up to experience more happiness in my life?
Maybe stop procrastinating, watch less TV, cut Facebook from your life, no more low-level grumbling, no more junk food…