According to research by Manchester Metropolitan University yesterday was the happiest day of the year. Hearing this I was somewhat amazed as I seem to recall writing in my last blog that only two weeks ago we were supposed to have survived the most miserable day of the year ,with a combination of post festive blues and too much month left before the January pay cheques for this year were due .
Apparently we each experience an average of ten major happy days every year but none is happier than January 31, or Happy Monday,’ said Dr David Holmes, senior psychologist at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Seemingly the combination of getting the first pay cheque of the year and booking your summer holiday helped make yesterday the highpoint of the year, according to University research.
As I listened to the radio I could see the sense in that .Undoubtedly if you’ ve been a bit strapped for cash and starved of decent weather for a while you are going to perk up if you can afford to book your summer escape to the sun. However what really interested me was the fact that we are experiencing so few happy days in the year .
An average of ten out of three hundred and sixty five days seemed to me a pretty miserable way to spend a year especially when you consider that includes our holidays and weekends when we are supposed to be relaxing and having fun .
Now I don’t know all the reasons why these figures are so low but I do know that happiness is a state that we can choose rather then wait for someone to provide for us . If you don’t believe me try these simple tips to increase your happiness levels .
1) Use positive affirmations Tell yourself in the morning I’m going to have a great day today and repeat it to yourself
2) Eat breakfast – Dont rush out the door without eating . Make time to site and have some wholewheat toast or porridge to keep your blood sugar levels from dropping so you have the energy to face the day . Skipping meals can affect your moods .
3) Practice smiling -Smile at yourself in the mirror as you get ready to go out -smile in the car on the way to work -trust me it works .
4) Dance – Stick your fave high energy track on your MP3 player or radio and dance for 5 mins . This is great first thing in the morning to get you ready to face the day
5)Go for a walk at lunchtime -Exercise helps you produce serotonin your brains happy chemical and is great for clearing your head and helping you deal with stress.
6) Make time for you – Being happy is about finding balance in your life and taking time to appreciate your gifts . Spoil yourself on a regular basis whether its having a bubble bath while reading a good book or going for a massage schedule some me time regularly.
7) Keep connected-Studies have shown that people with a good social network are generally happier and healthier then those who don’t . Invest in your friendships and keep in touch with your mates even if you live far away from eachother or have schedules that are busy phone them or Skype them and try to always have a social occasion on your calender to look forward to.
8)Get a hobby- I’m always struck by the fact that as kids we seem to have lots of hobbies horsriding ,go kart racing,rollerblading,stamp collecting but as we mature into adults we drop them in favour of work work and more work . Hobbies are fun , creative and a great way to relax . I have never heard an elderly person express the wish that they had spent more time in the office or doing housework ! So if you have always fancied learning to make gourmet food ,or want to learn to ice skate do it and have fun.