The Pursuit of Happiness

We can all feel down and fed up from time to time, which is a normal part of life. However when this gets too much, and we notice we are falling into the trap of dwelling and worrying, it can be useful to use certain coping strategies to help pick us back up!

 

So what types of things may work?

 

happiness balloons

Let others help you

When things get stressful, it’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes others can help take some of the strain away. It doesn’t have to just be practical support, others can support you emotionally. Just having someone there to listen can make all the difference.

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or 0113 245 67 89.

Web site: www.samaritans.org

Learn to pat yourself on the back

When you achieve something, reward yourself. No matter how small the achievement is. Even if it’s just a small part of a task – it’s important to acknowledge those things you manage to do.

Be more active

Exercising can make us feel good. It can help release all that tension built up inside. Discover a physical activity you enjoy, one that both helps release that stress and suits your fitness and mobility. You could go for a run or walk. May be just step outside for a few minutes to stretch your muscles and get some air. Cycle, garden, dance, take up a new hobby. There’s so many ways to exercise it’s about finding what works for you.

Give and volunteer

Giving can make us feel good. Why not do something nice for a friend or a stranger. Say thank you. Smile. Make connections with others. You may want to volunteer, join a community group. Giving something back can be incredibly rewarding.

Take notice and live in the present

Often our minds get lost in worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. This can mean we never truly enjoy the present. Living in the present can help you appreciate the world around you, and appreciate that very moment in your life. Be curious and focus on your surroundings. Use your senses. Notice any smells, sounds. Remark on the unusual and catch sight of the beautiful. Savour the moment you are in.

Connect with others

Build connections around you, whether that being with family, friends, neighbours or colleagues. This could be at home, at work, at school/college/university, or in your community. It may be with one person, it may be with a group. Whatever works for you. Building connections can help us have that support network, which can help enrich you every day.

Keep learning

Trying something new can help stimulate our minds. It can help give us a sense of achievement and can also be fun! Sign up for that course you have been thinking about. Learn to play an instrument, cook a new meal. Alternatively, maybe you would just prefer to rediscover an old interest. Set yourself a manageable challenge that you will enjoy achieving, even if it doesn’t go to plan, it’s okay, as at least you can say you tried! Learning not only can give you a sense of pleasure and achievement, but may also boost your confidence and put that smile back on your face.

If you’re interested in reading more about boosting your wellbeing and happiness the following resources have lots of free information, advice and guidance:

www.actionforhappiness.org

www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk

www.randomactsofkindness.org

Acknowledgements:

With thanks to Sarah W for producing this article.

Aked, J., Marks, N., Cordon, C., & Thompson, S.  (2008). Five Ways to Wellbeing: A report presented to the Foresight Project on communicating the evidence base for improving people’s well-being. Centre for well-being, NEF (New Economics Foundation)

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