Eight ways to improve happiness and mental wellbeing

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Every year on March 20th the world comes together to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. The day was originally established by the United Nations General Assembly to help people realise the importance of happiness within their lives.

Here are eight tips from our mental health experts here at Vita Health Group to help you feel happier, more in control and better able to cope with the rollercoaster of life.

1/ Listen to your body:

Responding to the needs of your body with compassion can help you to feel your very best. It could be as simple as ensuring you get an early night if you feel tired, hydrating when you’re thirsty, or moving your body when you feel sluggish or stiff.

2/ Manage your stress levels:

Finding ways to reduce stress, such as using time-management techniques, talking to your manager about your workload or practising breathing techniques, can really help to improve happiness.

3/ Enjoy the simple pleasures in life:

For years, Finland has topped the World Happiness Index. Many people say that Finnish happiness comes down to having the ability to pause and appreciate the little things in life. Enjoying simple pleasures such as clean air, walking in nature and swimming in natural waters can help to improve overall wellbeing. Try to incorporate moments of stillness into your daily routine and take note of the small things you’re thankful for.

4/ Boost your self-esteem:

One of the most effective ways to boost your self-esteem is to treat yourself as you would treat a valued friend. Acknowledge when you’re putting yourself down and instead think, “What would I say to my friend?”. When we beat ourselves up it can have a really negative impact on our happiness, so see if you can break the cycle.

5/ Limit your alcohol consumption:

When life feels challenging it can be tempting to drink alcohol to mask or numb difficult feelings. However, alcohol has the power to exaggerate negative emotions and it can actually make you feel sad, angry or aggressive. Think about limiting or cutting out alcohol to prevent triggering these negative feelings.

6/ Give someone a compliment:

Researchers have found that acts of kindness can help to promote overall wellbeing. Giving someone a compliment won’t just make someone else’s day brighter, it could make yours brighter too. You might be surprised by how good giving other people a compliment makes you feel.

7/ Connect with people:

Spending time with other people and building relationships is important for mental wellbeing. It can help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth and gives you an opportunity to provide support, and be supported, by others. Try to avoid relying on technology, such as social media and texting, alone to build relationships.

8/ Acknowledge your unhappy times:

No one is happy all the time – everyone faces challenges in life and it’s normal to find things difficult or feel low. Don’t brush these feelings under the rug and hope they disappear. Acknowledge and sit with your feelings, then actively shift your focus towards what it might take to recover.

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Vita is an award-winning, CQC registered healthcare provider