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8 Steps to a Healthy Mind & Happiness

17 April 2020

One in four of us experience depression, anxiety or other mental health issues each year. Our simple guide is here to help you boost your wellbeing and live a happier life.


1. Friendship First

Good relationships are key to our wellbeing, yet nearly half (46%) of UK adults regret not investing more time in them, according to a Mental Health Foundation survey. Give your closest friends a call even if it is just for 10 minutes per day, this will boost your mood and aid in overall happiness.

2. Try Something New

We know how difficult it is to change your routine, but taking a slightly different route on your daily walk, baking a new recipe or learning a to do something you haven’t tried before (like turning a letterbox flower delivery into a beautiful flower display); can lift your spirits.

No matter how big or small, new experiences can transform your mood. “They expose us to new ideas, keep us curious engaged, give us a sense of accomplishment and help boost self-confidence and resilience,” says social movement Action for Happiness.

3. Prioritise Sleep

A restful night is vital to good health, and experts state that lack of sleep can precede depression. “The first third of your sleep is the deepest and most restorative. If you go to bed late, your deep sleep is likely to be cut short,” says The Sleep Council. “If you struggle to drift off, practise deep-breathing techniques. Spend five minutes indulging in pure relaxation. If your mind is buzzing with things to do, write them down.”

4. Think Positive

“Negative thinking can lead to depression and anxiety,” says self-esteem expert Georgia Foster. “When we think good thoughts and experience positive feelings, such as happiness, love or safety, the pre-frontal cortex lights up. This part of the brain, also referred to as the ‘third eye’ produces endorphins, which enhance our sense of wellbeing.” The University of Pennsylvania suggests reflecting on three good things every day. In a study, people who did this for a week felt happier


6. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness

Taking 10 minutes out of every day to meditate can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your sleep and even help relationships. Headspace, a meditation app, is a great place to start. Meditation can also develop mindfulness, which makes you more aware of your internal and external experiences in the current moment.

7. Cultivate Kindness

“Doing things for others – whether small, unplanned acts or regular volunteering – is a powerful way to boost our own happiness, as well as that of those around us,” says Action for Happiness. Kindness is contagious, too: “When we see someone doing something thoughtful, or we are on the receiving end, it inspires us to be kinder to ourselves”.

8. Talk it Out

While friends and family can be great listeners, it can be good to talk to an expert, no matter how big or small your concern. The NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme provides a range of free treatments, including one-to-one therapy, counselling and group sessions.