Top Ten Tips for Increasing Happiness
1) Get singing (and I don’t just mean in the shower)
When I was small and upset from a tough day at school I would play something I could sing to on the piano – it is impossible to sing and cry at the same time! Singing releases ‘feel good’ hormones and gives a quick boost. Not to mention if you pick an uplifting tune (think ‘Sound of Music’ not ‘The Smiths’) it will lift your spirits.
2) Learn to Knit
Knitting is easy to learn and requires a small amount of concentration, it is also a very calming activity because of the repetitve movement. Knit something simple like a scarf which takes next to no time and can be done with only one kind of stitch. There is instant pleasure in wearing something you have made with your own two hands.
3) Yoga
Yoga has been practised in India for around six thousand years and it’s good for practically everything! Breathing increases oxygen in your body, helps circulation and tones your muscles. The meditation included in most yoga sessions helps calm the mind and can bring inner peace. Practise makes perfect – even if you can’t touch your toes just fifteen minutes of Yoga a day (or 30 minutes 3 times a week) can increase flexibility and believe me you’ll feel super happy with your progress!
4) St John’s Wort
This is a remedy from ancient Greece used to treat depression and also as a general ‘body tonic’. St John’s Wort is a herbal version of an anti-depressant.
A supplement can help lift your mood and once you feel you aren’t living in a pit of despair you’ll be able to focus more on the good things around you and take steps to change the bad. A word of warning: St John’s Wort can have adverse effects if mixed with other medication – always check the labels of any medication you are taking especially the contraceptive pill.
5) Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!
Regular exercise is excellent for your body, your mind and your mood! Exercise releases endorphins (nature’s Prozac) into your bloodstream which makes you feel happy. In these dark winter months it can be an effort to get out and do an activity. Buy an exercise dvd, try an evening walk with a friend, join a gym, go swimming or take up an indoor team sport. There is an exercise out there for you – do it for a month and you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel!
6) Eat Fruit and Vegetables
It is really dull and we all know it but getting your five fruit and veg a day will boost your mood. It will also improve your health, decrease your chances of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Plus you’ll look great and that will help make you feel great!
7) Climb a Hill
The ancient Romanies believed that to cure depression all you needed to do was climb a big hill. When you reach the top you should look down on the world this enables you to literally “rise above” your problems. And fresh air is never a bad thing.
8) Garlic

Another one from the Romanies: Take a saucer of water and place it next to your bed. Then put a few cloves of garlic in a circle on the saucer. You should do this just before you go to sleep. While you sleep the negative energy should be absorbed by the cloves – this will make them turn pink! The garlic should then be buried in the garden and replaced each evening with fresh ones. Well worth a try. If you like this then you might enjoy reading ‘The Good Spell Book’ by Gillian Kemp.
9) Hypnotherapy
A popular treatment for anything from quitting smoking to curing overeating. If your depression is very serious you might want to try hypnotherapy. It works by exploring feelings and thoughts that you might have repressed throughout your life. “hypnotherapy was the only thing that worked for me” said Jane 26 “I tried everything including counselling and I have bad reactions to anti-depressants” after a course of hypnotherapy Jane realised she bottles everything up and was able to deal with her problems from a more balanced viewpoint.
10) Make a Happy Book
It sounds daft and childish but this works. Go through your photo albums and make copies of every picture that makes you smile, keep ticket stubs, flyers, cards from restaurants – like a scrapbook – every time you have a good time put something in your happy book to remind you. When you feel blue get the book out and go through it – it will help remind you of all the good times you have had and boost your spirits!

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Submited By: Nic Pattison

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