Happiness is a state of mind. So if you want to stay happy, you need to look after your mental health just as carefully as your physical health.
Avoiding too much stress is a good place to start (or at least finding ways to minimise it as much as possible). A little stress can be good as it creates excitement, but too much, can be detrimental. Finding time to relax and de-stress is essential if you want to help yourself maintain a healthy perspective on things and 'recharge' your positivity. Hobbies are wonderful for this.
According to government think-tank 'Foresight', there are 5 social and personal activities we should all do every day to encourage wellbeing in ourselves and others.
- Try to spend time connecting with other people Humans are social beings so interaction stops us feeling alone and insecure. Sharing a good conversation not only helps us keep in touch with others but with ourselves.
- Exercise. Even if it's just going for a walk around the block. Keeping yourself active keeps lethargy at bay and releases feel good chemicals in the body. See our section on keeping fit and active for more tips.
- Learn something new. Stimulate yourself with a new challenge or master a new skill. The sense of satisfaction as you improve will encourage you to feel that you're positively improving yourself.
- Take notice of your surroundings. In other words, stop and smell the roses. Make time to appreciate what you have in your life rather than always worrying about what you don't have.
- Get involved with your neighbours and local community. The more you put into your world, the more you'll get out of it; the more friends you'll make and the more opportunities for pleasure you'll be exposed to. Helping others to have fun or to improve themselves can give you an enormous feeling of self-satisfaction - and be great fun for you too.
According to the experts, if you're able to do all this, you'll encourage a healthy and happy psyche.
Last, but by no means least, if you want to start each day with renewed enthusiasm, a refreshing good night's sleep is key. You should aim for 7 to 8 hours per night. Although, as you get older, you may find you start to need less.
Before beginning any new exercise regime or changing your diet, it may be advisable to consult your doctor for their opinion.