How to Stay Happier in Tough Times

Psychology Today describes 5 proven daily habits that bring more joy into your life.

Go to nature: A study featuring more than 20,000 participants in the UK found that people felt significantly and substantially happier when they were outdoors in natural habitats.

Be thankful: When you're being thankful, what you are doing is bringing your attention to what you have and what you can contribute, rather than focusing on what you don’t have and what you feel life owes you. There is power in being thankful. Studies show that thankfulness brings our attention to the present moment and helps us steer clear of social comparisons that leave us feeling inadequate.

Find ways to develop and maintain connections: Harvard has done one of the longest studies ever on physical and mental health in adult life, starting in 1938 and following 724 men through their lives. From the study, researchers concluded that close relationships have a far higher impact on people’s physical health and experience of happiness than money or fame. This tells us that making a conscious choice to develop and maintain social connections is a powerful way to experience more happiness in life - even in difficult times.

Come into the now: In a ground-breaking study, psychologists at Harvard University found that the more our mind wanders away from the present moment, the more vulnerable we are to stress, anxiety, and depression. The average mind is said to wander some 47 percent of each waking day, but there is a simple discipline we can practice each day to reduce the amount of time our mind wanders. All the discipline requires is that you notice when you are falling into rumination and snap your mind back into the present moment when that happens. Each time you do so, think of it as a small victory that can help you feel happier in the long run.

Build recovery into your day, every day: Life can be relentlessly volatile and complex, leaving ourselves vulnerable to stress and its side effects. That’s why it’s a good idea to make recovery a part of your day. We tend to think of recovery as something only athletes do, but the reality is that we can all benefit from taking the time to relax and do the things that bring us joy, like looking at old photo albums or playing your favourite Bowie tracks.



Latitude for Attitude

How to survive a winter lockdown? The short answer: think like a Norwegian. Studies show people living in the Arctic Circle have a mental attitude that helps combat the long ‘polar night’. It might be useful for us all…