8 habits of incredibly happy people

You may often stare and wonder how some people are just always happy. You might think they’ve always had a lot of luck in life – luck you don’t seem to have had. But we don’t think it’s just that.

Happiness is what you choose to be, not something that happens to you. Those happy people you envy do things to make themselves happy people, and you can do the same.

Learning to be happy is just like learning any other skill; it might take practice, but it will come naturally in the end. So what are the habits you can practice to enhance your happiness and your life?

Don’t compare yourself

Did you see what we said earlier about envying those happy people? Well, don’t! Comparing yourself to others is one sure-fire way to get yourself down.

You start to notice things that other people have, that you don’t – different qualities, different skills, different advantages in life.  When you compare yourself and notice these things, you start to focus on what you don’t have and completely forget about what you DO have.

Always remember how lucky you are to have the life you have. Never dwell on the negatives, and always live life to the fullest!

2016-05 Kindness Kindness

Say goodbye to bad feelings like anger, jealousy and negativity because kindness is scientifically proven to make you happier. Treating everyone with kindness, no matter what mood you start off in, will significantly boost your mood.

It’s all about those feel-good hormones and endorphins in your brain. Simply smiling and expressing kindness wherever you go, promotes positive feelings for you and the person you’re talking to. What’s not to love about that?

It’s not only important to be kind to others, but it’s also important to be kind to yourself. Don’t ever punish yourself for menial things like eating too much chocolate, skipping the gym, or doing absolutely nothing on your day off. Treat yourself.

Keeping busy

Happy people are known to be busy people – not rushed, but busy. Happy people take up hobbies and live life to the full! Don’t be afraid to say yes to trying new things, and don’t be that person that is constantly making excuses to avoid stepping out of routine.

But remember to keep it balanced. If you’re too busy, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed, and probably a little bit exhausted. If you’re spending all of your days doing absolutely nothing, you’ll find yourself bored, miserable, and lacking morale.

Trying new and exciting things is just part of life. Life isn’t about being monotonous; it’s about experience and doing what you want to do.

2016-05 CherishCherish friends and family

Friends and family are essential to anyone’s happiness. They know you better than anyone else – that is why they have the ability to keep you sane, keep you laughing, and keep you happy.

Always make time to visit, call or just hang out with family and friends, and don’t ever let your routine or busy schedule get in the way of that. The love you have for them is the answer to a higher quality of life!

Personal control

Never let other people dictate how you should live your life. After all, you have your own goals and your own dreams, and you know what you need to achieve them.

By being in charge of your own life and what you do, you will increase your sense of self-worth and self-value, ultimately leading to a happiness that shines from inside your body to anyone that meets you.

Laugh more

When you think of happiness, what do you immediately think of? Odds are that you think of smiling and laughing. Why? Because these smiling and laughing are visible signs that show a person is happy. In fact, they are more than that…

Smiling and laughing not only show a person is happy, but increases happiness all around too – both within that person, and to anyone around them. It really is contagious.

This is exactly why we put on laughter workshops and laughter training programmes, where people can learn to laugh and embrace laughter to aid their personal growth and happiness. To find out more information about our workshops, you can head to our website or get in touch by calling 08443 351552 or emailing info@unitedmind.co.uk.

2016-05 LaughBe healthy

Eating well and doing regular exercise are two things you can actively do to keep you happy. What you eat directly impacts your mood, and so does keeping active. Whether that’s a daily walk or a few trips to the gym a week, it can help you on your way to true happiness.

All it takes is a balanced diet and about 30 minutes of exercise a day to promote a healthy lifestyle; a lifestyle that enriches the mind, body and soul. In fact, it’s got a positive cyclical effect; being healthy makes you happy, and being happy will make you treat your body better. It’s a win win!

Acceptance

The final key to happiness, and perhaps the most important at times, is that you need to accept that not everything in life is going to be perfect. That’s not negative, that’s not defeatist – that’s just life. And that’s fine.

When we talk about acceptance, we mean both general acceptance of all those curveballs that life throws at you, as well as self-acceptance. Happy people learn to accept changes, injustices and setbacks that they can’t control, and focus their energy towards what they can control.2016-05 Acceptance

 

5 ways to help your husband (or life partner) with depression

Depression is a complex illness and there’s no one-size-fits all approach, but these tips should help.

According to statistics, more women are diagnosed with depression than men. However, it is likely that the mental illness affects just as many men in reality, but they are less likely to admit that they have a problem and seek help for it.

Symptoms of depression

If you notice your husband exhibiting any or all of the following symptoms most days or every day for three or more weeks then it is likely that he is suffering with depression:

  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Anger and irritability
  • A loss of interest in daily activities
  • Lethargy and loss of energy
  • Changes in appetite or drastic weight loss/gain
  • Restlessness and trouble concentrating on things
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

If you suspect that your husband is suffering from depression it is important that you gently encourage him to seek help from a doctor, but don’t put any undue pressure on him. A formal diagnosis will typically lead to a course of anti-depression medication, followed by cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling. However, there are also a number of ways in which you can help your husband through his depression too…

  1. Love them unconditionally: When you got married you vowed to love one another in sickness and in health. Depression is a mental illness which falls under this remit; and as hard as it may be to show your spouse love when they’re having a bad day and taking it out on you, it is exactly what they need. However you would normally show your husband that you love him, whether it’s putting a note in with his packed lunch, sending him a text/email, or cooking him a nice meal in the evening, ensure that you continue to do these things so that they feel loved, even when they’re unable to reciprocate it.
  2. Be their safe haven: You know your husband better than anyone else does, and this intimate closeness can work to your advantage as well as your disadvantage. Being the closest person to him means that your husband is likely to take out his frustration on you, and he may say some hurtful words. However, he needs you to be the one who receives the brunt of this behaviour as you are the one person who loves him enough to let him ride it out. Whether he needs to shout, cry, or just hug in silence for a while, be that safe haven that he needs.
  3. Understand when to give them space: Sometimes your husband may tell you that he wants space, but what he’s actually trying to say is that he needs you. Sometimes he may genuinely want some space to be alone with his thoughts or hobbies for a while. When he tells you that he wants some space, try taking hold of his hands, looking him in the eye and asking him if that’s what he truly wants. The physical connection of holding his hands shows him that you are willing to sit through this with him, but also prepared to leave him alone for a while until he’s ready for company again.
  4. Create an action plan: On a day when your husband is feeling calm and happy, sit down together and discuss an action plan for dealing with his low days. Ask him what experiences and behaviours would make him feel happier on those days, and put together a plan for how to make those things happen when he feels low. It could be something as simple as spending time with you such as going for a walk or watching a film, or perhaps having his favourite dessert after dinner. Let your friends and family know that there’s a chance you may have to cancel plans at the last minute if your spouse needs something different on that day to lift his mood.

Look after yourself: Supporting a spouse with depression can be incredibly draining, so it’s important that you make time to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing. Depression causes lethargy and loss of interest in things, so you may find yourself bearing the brunt of the housework and childcare, which can be incredibly tiring on its own, without the added pressure of looking after your spouse. Exercising together can help you both to feel happier; why not take up yoga or go walking or swimming together. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will also help you both to feel well, and strengthen your body to cope with the stress of the situation.

5 ways to boost positivity in the workplace

Creating a happy workplace is essential if you want to get the very best out of your employees. Here are some ways to keep your office happy…

Creating a happy workplace is essential if you want to get the very best out of your employees… which we assume you probably do. Happy employees = more productivity, after all.

But how do you boost the morale in the office and maintain that positive environment? We’ve put together some all-important ways to keep your office happy…

Attitude

If you want to create an office full of smiles and happy-to-be-there employees, you need to set an example. The attitude that exudes from an office has to start with those that run it. Take care in the way that you present yourself, both in what you wear and what you say.

Focus on positives and try not to dwell on negatives – instead, think and talk about how you can improve on the negatives to change it all around.

Gratitude

Talking of positives in the business, you can’t forget to praise them! Whether it be down to an individual employee or a group effort, don’t let any good point or good work go unrecognised. It’s important to acknowledge these moments to make employees feel that they are appreciated and to spur them on.

Acts of kindness

Doing the same thing 9am to 5pm can get monotonous and be a bit of a drag, right? So why not switch it up from time to time? Jump at the chance to celebrate seasonal holidays, arrange competitions between the teams, or surprise the office with a box of chocolates – these are just a few ideas that can help create a real buzz in the office. The simplest things can boost our moods.

The office itself

Rows and rows of desks can be extremely uninspiring, so have a careful think about the layout and design of your office. If you’re not interested in moving all the desks around, then consider putting up fun posters, painting the walls bright colours or allowing your employees to decorate their desks with photos. Get the feng shui right and create the office energy you’re looking for!

Team spirit

The team spirit is a crucial part of a positive and happy workplace. You want people to engage and communicate with each other at ease; you want your employees to feel comfortable in the place that they work.

But how do you go about this? Well, it’s easy really. Organise regular meetings for the company or the different teams to get people talking to each other. Think about organising frequent social events and fun team building exercises to take things outside of work, too.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for a happy 2016

With eleven and a half months left in the year, it’s not too late to make some new resolutions, and here are five that you’ll really want to stick to.

So we’re a couple of weeks into 2016 now, and most of us probably fall into one of two camps: those whose resolutions are in full-swing, and those whose resolutions fell at the first hurdle. If you’ve stuck to your resolutions so far then well done to you, and keep up the good work! However, if you’ve found it hard to stick to your resolutions so far in 2016 then it may be that you’ve just not made the right ones for you. With eleven and a half months left in the year, it’s not too late to make some new resolutions, and here are five that you’ll really want to stick to…

  1. Look after yourself: Sounds simple, right? But so few of us actually take the time to look after ourselves properly. Treat your body to some real, unprocessed, home cooked food; drink enough water; get enough sleep; be more active. Going back to basics and looking after yourself properly in these ways will give you the energy to tackle what life throws at you, no matter how tough things get!
  2. Don’t beat yourself up: Yes it’s important to look after yourself by eating properly, taking regular exercise etc; but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t always go to plan. Sometimes the only thing that can make you feel better is a takeaway, a bottle of wine, and a family-sized bar of chocolate – and that’s perfectly ok! Don’t beat yourself up for eating junk food or skipping a workout; remember that you’re human and just enjoy each different moment in your life.
  3. Follow your dreams: Whatever your dream is, whether it’s travelling the world or learning how to bake, make 2016 the year that you actually do something about it! That doesn’t mean to say you should be reckless and quit your job tomorrow for the sake of your dreams; simply start to get some serious, solid plans in place to help you achieve them. Want to go travelling? Open a savings account and start budgeting properly. Want to learn a new skill? Look for courses in your area or online and spend your spare time learning and practising.
  4. Be kind: I’m sure most of us are kind most of the time, but there’s always room for improvement. Treat others with the level of kindness and respect that you would in turn hope to receive, and your life will be richer for it. Random acts of kindness, such as paying for a stranger’s coffee, or helping an old lady with her shopping, for example, will help to make someone’s day and spur them on to pay that kindness forward in the future!
  5. Be present: Technology has taken over our lives, and the vast majority of us are pretty much addicted to our smartphones and tablets. We may well have the world at our fingertips, but by spending so much time staring at those tiny screens we’re actually missing out on what the world immediately around us has to offer. Put the smartphone down and have a conversation with your friend, relative, partner, or even the stranger on the bus, your life will be much more richer for it than knowing the ins and outs of someone you went to school with 15 years ago via Facebook!

5 surprising reasons why cuddling is good for you

If you love a good cuddle then you might be pleased to know that every hug, cuddle, and snuggle is doing you good in the following amazing ways.

As a newborn baby you spend a lot of your life being cuddled, and it helps you to learn who your parents are and makes you feel safe and secure. As your childhood progresses and you grow older, cuddles still feature heavily in your life. Hugs from mum and dad help you to feel safe and loved at bedtime; and when you hurt yourself, nothing makes the pain go away quite like a hug from your parents. As you enter into your teens and then adulthood, cuddling and physical contact remain important factors in helping you to forge friendships and relationships.

If you love a good cuddle then you might be pleased to know that every hug, cuddle, and snuggle is doing you good in the following amazing ways…

It helps you to bond

In the early, can’t-keep-your-hands-off-each-other stage of a relationship there’s usually a lot of cuddling and affectionate touching going on. As the relationship progresses the amount of physical contact can begin to wane. However, it’s important for a healthy relationship that you maintain that bond with your partner by way of regular cuddling. Cuddling and touching trigger the release of oxytocin, which is a neuropeptide that makes us feel close to another person.

It aids communication

Cuddling helps to create a comfortable environment in which we can communicate with our partner. In a long-term relationship, communication can sometimes become neglected, and cuddling will start to peter out. Sometimes words are not necessary, and all it takes is a cuddle, holding hands, or an affectionate shoulder rub to let your partner know that you understand how they feel; and eventually this nonverbal communication will give way to verbal communication and get you both talking again.

It boosts your mood

When we make physical contact with someone, i.e. through cuddling, dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain. These are two of our happy hormones that are responsible for lifting our mood and making us feel happier. As we’ve said above, cuddling also releases oxytocin, also known as ‘the bonding hormone’ for its powerful ability to create strong bonds with others; and strong bonds with partners, friends, and family are what make us happy.

It reduces stress

Cuddling helps to lower the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the hormone which kicks in during fight or flight situations, making us feel stressed and anxious. It is the oxytocin that is released during a cuddle that is responsible for counteracting the effects of the cortisol and helping to calm you down. So next time you can see your partner, child, or friend getting stressed out, just give them a cuddle and it should help them to feel better.

It relieves pain

Oxytocin is also responsible for lowering levels of pain; and cuddling is one of the best ways to trigger the release of oxytocin in the body. Think back to when you were a child and you fell over and grazed your knee; your mum would pick you up, give you a cuddle, and kiss your knee better, and you’d suddenly feel fine! That’s oxytocin at work. Cuddling even works on emotional pain, making heartache and grief seem more bearable.

How to reduce stress and anxiety with mindfulness

If you rush through life full steam ahead, it’s time to slow things down, become more mindful, and reduce your stress levels.

When was the last time you slowed down and paid proper attention to what you were doing; to take in the taste of your morning coffee, the texture of the foamy milk on your tongue, the aroma, the warmth as it slips down your throat? We all have such busy lives, so something as mundane as drinking a frothy coffee in the morning is easily forgotten about once you’ve drained the dregs from your paper cup.

Rushing through life at lightning speed not only means you might miss out on the little moments that make life pleasurable, but it could also be heavily contributing to those rising levels of stress and anxiety that you’re feeling.

It’s time to slow things down and introduce a little mindfulness into your life…

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a simple concept, which stems from ancient Buddhism. However, mindfulness does not care about your religious beliefs, your cultural traditions, or your scientific understanding. Mindfulness is simply about noticing things in the present moment that we don’t normally take the time to notice, without passing judgement on them. It’s about noticing the thoughts, physical sensations, smells, sounds, and sights involved with an activity.

You may think that you notice what’s going on around you, but most of us go about our daily lives on auto-pilot. You drive the same route to work every day, you take a walk in the same park every lunchtime, you eat the same sandwich for lunch on a regular basis; yet you never give any of them your full attention in that moment because your mind is always several steps ahead of you, thinking about what you need to do when you get back to the office, what you will cook for dinner etc.

How can mindfulness help with stress?

Becoming more aware of the present moment helps us to slow down, calm down, and take stock of what is going on around us. This type of grounding can help us to focus on something other than the things that are causing us stress. Mindfulness also promotes therapeutic breathing: sit comfortably in an upright position with your eyes closed, focus all your attention on your breathing, noticing how your body feels as you inhale and exhale, accepting the thoughts, emotions, and physical feelings that occur throughout. Try to do this for at least five minutes per day and you should notice a difference.

How to be more mindful each day

It’s easy to be mindful in your day to day life, but you will need to practice and train your mind not to wander so easily. Here are a few ways you can be more mindful today:

  • Do things differently: Maybe you could take a different route to work, or go to a different sandwich shop for your lunch. New things, even little ones, can help you to begin to see that world in a new way.
  • Take your time: Start by picking one activity that you do each day, and slowing it down so that you are able to notice all the little things about it. Maybe spend longer eating your breakfast. You might have to get up a little earlier, but it’ll be worth it once you start to notice the way your cereal feels on your tongue, or the sound that your toast makes when you spread the jam on it.
  • Put your gadgets away: If you are constantly glued to your smartphone, kindle, or tablet during you commute, try leaving it in your bag and spend some time looking out of the window on the bus or train. Notice the sounds that the train makes, the way the trees on the horizon blow in the wind, and the hustle and bustle on the platform.

4 mood-boosting foods you should be eating

These mood-boosting foods are proof that you are what you eat, so include them in your diet and reap the health benefits.

Busy lives and high stress levels often have us reaching for sugar-laden snacks, processed carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats for a quick energy boost. If you regularly find yourself raiding the vending machine at work for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up you might not realise that those crisps or chocolate bar are actually setting you up for anxiety, depression, and mood swings, not to mention the inevitable blood sugar crash when your insulin levels drop back to normal.

The old saying, you are what you eat, is very much true. Your diet has a huge impact on your mental health as well as your physical health. Making healthy food choices can help to boost your mood, improve brain function, and aid your concentration.

Here are 4 types of foods that can help you to feel happier and better focused…

Good fats

When you eat processed, sugary foods your insulin levels spike and you feel that sugar high; but as your blood sugar levels return to normal you inevitably crash back down and feel worse. Good fats help to slow the digestion down, which calms your blood sugar down and keeps you feeling stable. Studies have found that eating two or more meals per week based around oily seafood like mackerel and salmon is associated with lower rates of depression.

Along with fish, foods like grass-fed chicken, pork, and beef, as well as avocados and nuts are all good sources of omega-3. An average adult should be consuming 2g of omega-3 per day, which is equal to the amount you’d get from a 4oz piece of salmon or a quarter cup of walnuts.

Carbohydrates

Carbs have received a pretty bad rap in recent years, with diets such as Atkins and Paleo making us think carbohydrates are the enemy. However, carbohydrates are a vital food group that should not be neglected, but it’s important to choose the right ones. Carbs help to produce and regulate serotonin, the feel-good chemical, in the brain.

When those mid-afternoon carb cravings hit it’s important to avoid heavily refined carbs like biscuits, cakes, and crisps. Instead, choose healthy carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread, granary crackers, fruit, or vegetable crudités. They may not be as exciting as a cookie, but they’ll make you feel better instantly and in the long term.

Tryptophan

This amino acid is a vital component in your body’s production of serotonin, and it’s not something that your body can produce; tryptophan must come from food. It is present in high quantities in turkey, and has a calming effect on your body, which is part of the reason why Christmas dinner leaves you feeling a little sleepy.

Foods such as poultry, beef, eggs, soybeans, and nuts are all great sources of tryptophan. You can turbo-boost the effect of tryptophan by eating it alongside wholegrain carbohydrates. Poached eggs on wholemeal toast, or sliced turkey on a wholegrain cracker are two examples of ideal serotonin snacks.

Folate

Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is the natural form of folic acid. This vital nutrient is often associated with pregnant women, and those trying to conceive, as it helps to prevent neural tube defects in foetuses. However, it’s a nutrient that everybody needs as it helps to support a healthy nervous system and the production of serotonin and dopamine – the brain’s happy chemicals.

Folate is water-soluble which means your body doesn’t store it, so you need to consume it every day. It’s no accident that the word ‘folate’ sounds a lot like ‘foliage’ because the best source of this nutrient is green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli. The recommended intake of folate daily is 400mcg, and 2 cups of uncooked spinach provides around a third of that – try adding it to your breakfast smoothie for a healthy start to the day.

5 surprising reasons why cuddling is good for you

If you love a good cuddle then you might be pleased to know that every hug, cuddle, and snuggle is doing you good in the following amazing ways.

As a newborn baby you spend a lot of your life being cuddled, and it helps you to learn who your parents are and makes you feel safe and secure. As your childhood progresses and you grow older, cuddles still feature heavily in your life. Hugs from mum and dad help you to feel safe and loved at bedtime; and when you hurt yourself, nothing makes the pain go away quite like a hug from your parents. As you enter into your teens and then adulthood, cuddling and physical contact remain important factors in helping you to forge friendships and relationships.

If you love a good cuddle then you might be pleased to know that every hug, cuddle, and snuggle is doing you good in the following amazing ways…

It helps you to bond

In the early, can’t-keep-your-hands-off-each-other stage of a relationship there’s usually a lot of cuddling and affectionate touching going on. As the relationship progresses the amount of physical contact can begin to wane. However, it’s important for a healthy relationship that you maintain that bond with your partner by way of regular cuddling. Cuddling and touching trigger the release of oxytocin, which is a neuropeptide that makes us feel close to another person.

It aids communication

Cuddling helps to create a comfortable environment in which we can communicate with our partner. In a long-term relationship, communication can sometimes become neglected, and cuddling will start to peter out. Sometimes words are not necessary, and all it takes is a cuddle, holding hands, or an affectionate shoulder rub to let your partner know that you understand how they feel; and eventually this nonverbal communication will give way to verbal communication and get you both talking again.

It boosts your mood

When we make physical contact with someone, i.e. through cuddling, dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain. These are two of our happy hormones that are responsible for lifting our mood and making us feel happier. As we’ve said above, cuddling also releases oxytocin, also known as ‘the bonding hormone’ for its powerful ability to create strong bonds with others; and strong bonds with partners, friends, and family are what make us happy.

It reduces stress

Cuddling helps to lower the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the hormone which kicks in during fight or flight situations, making us feel stressed and anxious. It is the oxytocin that is released during a cuddle that is responsible for counteracting the effects of the cortisol and helping to calm you down. So next time you can see your partner, child, or friend getting stressed out, just give them a cuddle and it should help them to feel better.

It relieves pain

Oxytocin is also responsible for lowering levels of pain; and cuddling is one of the best ways to trigger the release of oxytocin in the body. Think back to when you were a child and you fell over and grazed your knee; your mum would pick you up, give you a cuddle, and kiss your knee better, and you’d suddenly feel fine! That’s oxytocin at work. Cuddling even works on emotional pain, making heartache and grief seem more bearable.

5 simple ways to relieve anxiety

If your worrying is keeping you up at night and preventing you from living your life the way you want to then it’s time to take action.

Worrying is something that we all do from time to time, and often it spurs us on to take action and solve the problem that we’re facing. However, if you’re starting to find yourself too preoccupied with worst-case scenarios and ‘what ifs’, your worry and anxiety could begin to affect your day to day life. Anxiety can present with physical symptoms such as low energy, chest pains, headaches, and digestive problems.

If your worrying is keeping you up at night and preventing you from living your life the way you want to then it’s time to take action. Here are some simple ways that you can relieve the symptoms of anxiety…

  • Get enough sleep: A lack of sleep or an inconsistent sleep pattern can have a detrimental effect on both your physical and mental wellbeing. Your anxiety may be keeping you awake at night, but not getting enough rest also contributes to your overall stress and anxiety levels so it becomes a vicious circle. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, avoiding the urge to nap during the day. Eventually you’ll fall into a pattern where you’re getting a full seven to nine hours sleep each night.
  • Eat properly: Anxiety can throw your body’s system completely out of synch. Your appetite might increase, or it could disappear all together. However, it is important to try and maintain a healthy diet, no matter how anxious you feel. Eat three balanced meals a day containing healthy proteins like fish, lean meats, and eggs, as well as healthy carbohydrates like brown rice which help to regulate serotonin levels. Finally, make sure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and try to avoid processed foods and sugar as they can make anxiety worse in the long run.
  • Practise yoga: The ancient art of yoga encourages you to synchronise your breathing with your movements to create a healthy flow of energy through the body. Learning how to breathe properly can also help you to calm down when you can feel a panic attack coming on. The postures in hatha yoga help to strengthen and condition your body, and with regular practice you’ll start to feel strong and grounded.
  • Become more organised: If you prepare yourself for the day/week ahead then you can tackle things that might cause you anxiety. Perhaps you hate going to the supermarket to do the shopping because it’s too crowded. If you know that crowds of people make you anxious then you could plan to do your shopping at a different time of day when it’ll be a bit quieter. Or perhaps you could even do your food shopping online to eliminate the need to go to the supermarket all together. Knowing what triggers your anxiety means you can prep yourself properly and cope with it better when it happens.
  • Laugh and play: Take a leaf out of the book of children and animals and learn to make more time for play and fun! If you have children yourself then spending time playing and doing silly things with them can help to relieve your symptoms of anxiety. If you don’t have children then maybe visit a friend who has little ones and play with them for the afternoon. Likewise if you don’t have pets of your own, offer to walk a friend’s dog. Spending time with animals and children can have a calming effect.

5 ways to help you cope with grief

How to handle life when you lose somebody that meant the world to you.

The death of someone you love is one of the most devastating scenarios you have to face in life. Nobody can prepare you for this, whether the death was sudden or expected, you simply don’t know how you are going to react until the time comes. It’ll be hard to function, you’ll be overcome with grief and it’ll take a major effort just to keep going at this moment in life. There’s no right or wrong answers but here are some suggestions that will hopefully be of comfort to you…

Handle it your own way

People deal with death differently, some people like to keep their emotions close to their chest and others are prone to public outbursts. Deal with it in your own way. If you feel like crying, do so, if you feel like shouting in frustration, that’s fine, just listen to your body and be kind to yourself.

Don’t set a time limit

Grief manifests itself in a variety of ways and you can’t put a timescale on how you feel. Initially you might not have time to grieve because you are caught up in the middle of organising a funeral and it’ll only be afterwards when reality sinks in. Time is a great healer just be prepared for a few judders along the way, be realistic and take things on a day by day basis.

Accept support

Friends and family will offer their support when you lose somebody dear so take help where you can. The love and friendship of others will help see you through this difficult period so embrace any compassion and assistance you are offered.

Talk about your feelings

Sit down with people who knew the deceased and enjoy sharing past memories of them. Discuss happy experiences of things you did together and simply by talking about the deceased can bring a little comfort to your life.

Remember it’s ok to laugh

People who have suffered a loss can often feel like others will judge them if they are not constantly in mourning. Part of the grieving process involves celebrating the life of your deceased loved one. Share stories with friends and family, and remember the good times you had. Laughter is one of the best medicines, so let yourself giggle when you think of the fun times!