The one where we stick two fingers up at Blue Monday! (or how to find some happy…)

So apparently today is Blue Monday.  Allegedly the most depressing day of the year.

I say ‘allegedly’ because apparently the concept of Blue Monday first came about as part of a press release from a travel company, and therefore is nothing more than a bit of a PR stunt.

However, I think it is fair to say that January is a bit of a drag for numerous reasons – it’s long, it’s cold, it’s been about seven years since we last got paid, we’ve all given up the good things in life like eating junk food and drinking several bottles of wine a week…and summer holidays seem so far away.

Yes, January itself is a bit depressing.

If you need a bit of perking up as I do at the minute, here are a few ways in which you can do this.

Breathe!

Probably one of the simplest but most important is to just breath. When you’re feeling stressed or upset simple breathing exercises can really help.

Get Moving

It might feel like the last thing you want to do when down in the dumps but studies have shown that exercise, even as little as 10 minutes a day has a profound effect on our happiness and wellbeing. It’s also been proven as an effective strategy for overcoming depression, so wrap up and get outside, if only for an energetic walk. Every little helps!

Speak to Friends and Family

The cornerstone of happiness and health, a conversation with a loved one can have a lasting positive effect, increasing energy and motivation.  Why not pick up the phone and have a chat with someone or drop in and pay them a visit? You never know, it might help to increase their happiness too!

Practice Gratitude

Write down three things you are grateful for – simply acknowledge your good fortune. Studies have shown that identifying three good things in your life provides both an instant and longlasting effect on happiness.

Learn Something New

Education has been widely documented as the single variable tied most directly to improved health and longevity. Along with this, while people are engaged in learning new things, their wellbeing and happiness increase as well. Double bonus! Do some reading or watch some YouTube tutorials. One of the great positives of the internet is that there are so many ways to learn things fast.

They are just a few things you can do today if you’re in a bit of a slump, and the things I personally try to do when I’m feeling a bit MEH.

Do you have any other strategies for increasing happiness levels?

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