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mental health

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major anxiety for millions around the world. Our mental health will take a serious hit due to self-isolation and social distancing, but one thing that will help is reading.

Studies have found that reading has a positive impact on your mental health. Natalie Phillips, who is an English scholar, teamed up with Stanford neurobiologists and radiologists to look at the benefits reading has on our mental health.

They found that reading increases the blood flow to certain parts of the brain. They asked participants to read a chapter of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park– both leisurely and analytically- as the participants read their brain was scanned by an MRI machine.

The team found that reading “requires the coordination of multiple complex cognitive functions”, meaning reading exercises underworked parts of your brain.

I would never have thought reading an old copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby would keep my anxious thoughts away, but it did. Reading is one of the things that has helped ease my symptoms the most.

Pick up a book and dive into a new world, meet new characters and learn about their lives. Reading is a great way to push the anxiety away. It eases your mind when it is full of doubt and fear.

It is the perfect form of escapism. Pop into your local bookshop or order a book online; whether it’s a classic like Wuthering Heights or the latest Sally Rooney novel.

It may not work for everyone, but something as simple as channelling your inner Matilda may keep those dreaded symptoms at bay.

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By Rachel O Neill

I was first diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder when I was 19 but really I’d been suffering from it for as long as I could remember. I thought it was normal to get obsessed with studying for exams and to cry if I got 85 out of 100 instead of 90. I thought it was completely normal to have your brain scream things at you that you would never dream of saying to another person. I thought it was normal to be sad all the time. In reality, getting my diagnosis was my first step to admitting that my normality wasn’t everyone else's.

I was prescribed antidepressants and started seeing a therapist. I was of the belief that I could cure myself by talking to someone and taking my pills. I didn’t understand that anxiety and depression need to be managed rather than cured. So I took myself out of therapy and weaned myself off my meds, convinced that I was fine. I would go on to have a breakdown a year later and would go back to therapy for nearly 15 months.

I’m very open about my struggles and my problems but that doesn’t make it easy to tell people about them. You don’t want to appear weak or vulnerable and most of all, you don’t want to be treated differently to anyone else. You just want to be seen as a colleague that works hard and does their best regardless. 

Telling my manager about my problems was hard. It’s something you have to prepare for. You rehearse in your head what you’ll say and how they might react. In reality, I had nothing to worry about. My manager was very understanding about my problems and has been incredibly supportive in managing workloads when I need it.

Our work lives are more hectic than they used to be. Ever-changing deadlines, longer commutes and increased pressure means that employees can often feel like they have nobody to talk to. I wanted to do something about it and was lucky enough to be  given the opportunity to help The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) and The Advertising Benevolent Society (TABS) launch SMASH, a campaign around their new employee assistance programme.

The programme which is run by Spectrum and offers 24/7 support for a range of different issues including mental health support, financial advice, legal advice and career advice. 

 SMASH is the first wellbeing programme of its kind for the advertising industry in Ireland and the programme will provide a variety of mental health supports and practical services, exclusively to IAPI’s two thousand members. The SMASH programme is funded by TABS, The Advertising Benevolent Society.

IAPI members, through the SMASH programme, will be able to avail of six professional consultation sessions on eight different concerns. The programme of up to 48 professional consultations will cover financial, legal, consumer, health, parenting and career advice as well as mediation and life coaching.

It’s a really good programme and I’m so proud to be involved in the launch because I believe that every employee should have access to it. 

More and more of us are taking days off work for mental health reasons. We don’t always say it’s mental health because there is still a stigma attached to taking time off for it. But with an EAP like Spectrum available, we can feel more comfortable in recognising and tackling our problems before they turn into a major crisis.

For those of us like me, who have been managing their conditions for longer, it’s comforting to know that there is a resource there for you if you need it. 

My mental health problems haven’t gone away. They are conditions that I have to manage closely. I’ve been on antidepressants for the last 18 months and I see a therapist regularly too. Even in doing all that, I can still struggle to get out of bed or to see my friends regularly, making my head a lonely place to be.

That being said, I’m optimistic that things always have the potential to get better and being able to share my story with my colleagues has shown that. Hopefully with a little more talk and a lot more action, more organisations will follow in IAPI’s footsteps and support their employees as much as they can.

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If you have noticed that your mood- or that of someone you are close to- is exceptionally low this time of year, that could be because you are experiencing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Just as it sounds, SAD is a disorder that is at its most prevalent during the darker days- from September to April. It causes symptoms of depression and anxiety and is more common than you’d think, affecting approximately 1 in 15 people. Like others who live as far from the equator as we do, the decrease in natural sunlight during the winter months has a direct effect on our mental health.

For many, SAD is so disabling that they cannot function normally without treatment. SAD most commonly begins between the ages of 18 and 30-years-old and you are diagnosed after two or more consecutive winters of experiencing symptoms.

So, what are they? Those with seasonal affective disorder may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping problems– It is common to oversleep often and have difficulty staying awake.  Disturbed sleep and waking too early are also symptoms of SAD
  • Feeling lethargic– Those with SAD can lack energy and are sometimes unable to go about their normal day because they feel so tired. Limbs become heaving and weight gain is common due to overeating and craving carbs and sugar.
  • Feeling anxious– Anxiety is a common symptom with increased feelings of dread and stress.
  • Feeling depressed– Low moods, weeping and feeling generally sad are key features of SAD. Hopelessness and feelings of failure are also very common.
  • A weakened immune system– Those who suffer from SAD will be more susceptible to catching winter colds, flu and bugs.
  • Feeling apathetic– SAD causes loss of motivation and difficulty concentrating. It can also leave you feeling less motivated to partake in things you would normally find fun.
  • Feeling like staying in– More than normal, we mean. Those with SAD will withdraw from social situations at this time of year and become uninterested in friends.
  • Disinterest in sex– Loss of libido is a common symptom, meaning a decreased interest in sex and physical contact.
  • Mood swings in the warmer months– Many people experience spurts of energy and hyperactivity (known as hypomania) in spring.

Identifying this very common mental health issue is the first step. There are luckily many ways to treat and look after your mental health if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder:

Spend as much time as you can in the sun

Try to get up early to get the most out of the daylight. Make an effort to allow sunlight into your home. Trim any vegetation that may be blocking the path of sun rays to your windows. Keep blinds open and surround yourself with colour by painting walls and using brightly coloured décor. You could even switch desks at work so that you are sitting close to a window.

Try to stay healthy

This is the hardest one. Any exercise or time spent outdoors will help. A simple walk each day can have an amazing impact on your mental health. Try to limit your sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake (we know). These changes to your routine will be worth it when your mood lifts.

Try to have fun

Instead of taking all your holidays during the summer, takes some time off in winter to do the things you love and surround yourself with people who boost your mood and support you. Do what is fun FOR YOU.

Consult your GP

This one is important: Ask for help even before it seems overwhelming. Take all medication as prescribed by your doctor and keep an eye on any side effects. Your doctor may suggest light therapy. This is the use of artificial light to substitute the sunlight. Ask your doctor about this one- they will know.

The most important thing is to consult your doctor immediately if you notice your symptoms are getting worse or stronger. If you suffer from severe winter depression your doctor will need to determine if your symptoms are SAD related, or if something else is causing them.

Psychotherapy, behavioural therapy, stress management techniques and prescribed medication can all be used to treat SAD. Remember, you are never alone, and your GP will always be there to support your mental health.

Sources: Mental Health Ireland, HSE.ie

 

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When you finally get the courage to seek help for mental health issues, one of the first things you will learn is that there is hardly ever a cure for mental. A huge milestone is when you realise that there is no such thing as getting better. Struggling with your mental health is not synonymous with being broken, so it is important to move away from the idea that you can be fixed. Instead, accepting that you will have bad days, weeks or even months throughout your life, is a breakthrough in itself.  

With this in mind, it can be beneficial to plan for these tougher times. To prepare for the difficult days so that you can deal with them as best you can. Here are some things to think about when planning for a tough mental health day:

Write it down

Write your ‘bad day plan’ on a Word Doc on your laptop or in a notepad that you won’t lose. Leave it in a place you will remember that is easily accessible. You don’t want to have to search for this when you are not feeling well.

This could simply be a step by step guide on how to get through the day. Shower, eat (something comforting) and get dressed. It might be helpful to save a draft text or email to send to work etc. Include a list of movies and music you can watch/listen to that might make you feel better. 

Let someone in on the plan

Your partner, your best friend, your sister, or brother. Ask them to be the person you confide in when you are having a bad mental health day/week. There is no shame in this, asking for help is essential. You will need support and it is a comfort to know that there is already someone familiar with your needs who has agreed to help.

Know your limits

Become familiar with how to take days off work, college, school etc. Know what sick days you are entitled to and know the process you need to follow to get a day off. If your mental health is affecting your work, tell your employer and ask them for the company’s policies on sick leave in this case.

Have a backup plan if you have family commitments. When you feel things getting worse, cancel plans. Be honest with friends and family about how you are feeling. Do not push yourself when you are feeling low, anxious or confused. This can make things worse and lead to a spiral.

Go easy on yourself

Allow yourself to take time off. Do not expect to be productive on a bad mental health day. Getting through the day might be all you can do and this is enough. If you have certain basic ways of making yourself feel better, plan these. You could even make up a pack of resources like candles, a hot water bottle, certain foods that comfort you and leave them together with the plan you have written down.

Plan for your physical health, too

Mental and physical health go hand in hand. Try to stay away from alcohol when you begin to feel low or anxious. Make an extra effort to eat well if you can – but don’t deny yourself comfort food when you are having a bad mental health day. Try to stick to your exercise routine as best you can or even make sure to go outside when you feel things begin to get worse.

When a bad mental health day becomes unmanageable or when you feel out of control, call you GP or mental health professional.

source: SpunOut

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When a loved one is struggling with depression, it can be hard to know what to say. We can feel powerless in these situations, aware that what we say could be damaging if not thought through properly. There is no perfect way to talk to someone affected by depression but making an effort can be comforting and help in more ways than you think. Here are five helpful things to say to a loved one who is living with depression:

1. ‘I am here if you want to talk’

Depression can manifest itself in many ways, but it is common that those affected are reluctant to ask for help. You cannot force someone to talk about how they are feeling. No one owes you a conversation in exchange for your support. However, for someone to know you are there makes a huge difference.  Be patient. Open up the lines of communication and let them take it from there. Remind them often that you will be there whenever they want to talk.

2. ‘What can I do to help today?’

Getting out of bed can be a challenge for those with depression. Symptoms include fatigue and lethargy. Ask your loved one what you can do to help them get through their day. This does not have to be huge tasks, it will often be small things like having a cup of tea together, sharing a lift to work or even accompanying them to the doctor. Sometimes, giving them space is just what they need, so be sure to ask if they simply need time to themselves.  

3. ‘You are not a burden’

Those with depression often need help with everyday tasks such as cooking food, shopping or even getting dressed. You must let your loved one know that you are helping because you want to. You want to create a space where they feel comfortable asking for this kind of help when they need it. Let them know that they are not putting you out in any way.

4. ‘You are so important to me’

Depression causes people to have feelings of doubt and worthlessness. It is important for you to tell your loved one outright how much you value them in your life. Try and do this as often as you can. Let them know specifically why you love and respect them. Even if they do not respond to this, your words can be powerful.

5. ‘What you are feeling is real. I am sorry you are feeling like this’

Those with depression have heard it all before: ‘snap out of it’…‘eat more vegetables and you will feel better’…‘you’re just being lazy’…‘there are people worse off than you’. These are extremely unhelpful ways of responding to anyone. Even if you do not fully understand how your loved one is feeling, it is crucial that you validate their emotions or lack thereof.

If you have a loved one who needs help, encourage them to visit www.pieta.ie for a range of supports. 

 

Source: Spunout.ie 

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To mark World Mental Health Day (tomorrow 10th October 2020), Avoca is proud to partner with Walk in My Shoes, the flagship mental health awareness campaign from St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, which promotes positive mental health, tackles mental health stigma and works to change how people think about mental health.

This Christmas, Avoca’s team of crafters have designed two bespoke exclusive products for the Walk in My Shoes campaign; a beautiful candle and pack of paper chain decorations, with all proceeds donated to this worthy cause.

The exclusive candle, made in Ireland, invites the smooth and warm scent of Sandalwood and will be available for €22.95 and the paper chains at €8.95, will add a charming festive flair to the home with a beautiful decorative floral print. Both items are designed in Avoca’s Wicklow Studio and will be available to purchase from 27th October in store and online at www.avoca.com.

The Walk in My Shoes campaign was first established in 2012 when a young man in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services said, “he wished his friends could walk in his shoes to understand how he was feeling.” Since then, Walk in My Shoes have launched initiatives each year to promote positive mental health in schools and communities around Ireland. Thousands from across Ireland have become involved with the Walk in My Shoes campaign, including charity ambassadors, TV and radio presenter Blathnaid Treacy and Dublin Ladies GAA player Nicole Owens.

Amanda McArdle, Project Manager at Walk in My Shoes comments: “We are delighted that Avoca has chosen Walk in My Shoes as their charity partner this Christmas. Walk in My Shoes runs a number of awareness-raising and education campaigns throughout the year, such as our #MindYourSelfie resources for classrooms, our Transition Year programme and our popular Mission Possible awards, celebrating schools that promote positive wellbeing. This partnership will allow us to create further opportunities to support young people, teachers and parents at home, or in the classroom, during this challenging time.”

Maoliosa Connell, Marketing Director at Avoca, says: “We are very proud to support and promote positive mental health and effect meaningful change in peoples lives, particularly in these current challenging times. We’re thrilled to be part of the conversation this Christmas and support Walk in My Shoes’ campaign initiatives, as well as raise funds to aid the awareness-raising and education resources they provide to local communities across Ireland. We are proud to offer a meaningful gift to give this Christmas.”

To mark World Mental Health Day this Saturday, 10th October, and as part of the Walk in My Shoes Live campaign running all week, Avoca will be hosting a complimentary virtual yoga class this Saturday, 10th October from 11am– 12pm, on their Instagram Live platform. The class will be hosted by Avoca staff member, Rachel Lenny of Earth and Purpose Yoga and it will be centered around mindfulness and mental wellbeing, through a vinyasa flow practice accessible for all levels. It will offer a welcoming opportunity to breathe, stretch and connect within.

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We pity the girl who sits in the cafe on her own, nursing a cup of coffee with nobody but herself for company, but news flash- people enjoy spending time on their own and it’s time for us to break down the stigma surrounding it.

As kids, we were fooled into thinking our self-worth was measured based on how many friends we had. You were a nerd if you spent lunchtime by yourself. You were sneered at when you were picked last for the basketball team. You were viewed as ‘unpopular’ if you celebrated your 14th birthday with five friends.

It is time for society to stop looking down on the guy who goes to the cinema by himself and give up addressing people as ‘loners’.

An army of wonderful people have shared why they love being on their own to help me beat this ridiculous notion.

Anna Keat said: “For a 19-year-old, I'm an extremely avid knitter and given how I also have anxiety, time to myself plus something as rhythmic as knitting really gets my head back in check.”

“I moved abroad and only had a handful of friends when I first moved over so I started doing some things alone and I found it SO peaceful. Not having to rely on others is a blessing at times,” said Shauna Kiely.

“I always love spending time with myself. For a myriad of reasons (not too draining, don’t have to make conversation, won’t panic about the way I behaved later on) but mostly because I’m the only person who won’t let me down,” Grace Latter shared.

“I found myself living alone suddenly after a relationship breakdown and was terrified but I had the time of my life!  I learnt to be happy in my own company & as a result I know myself so well now. We should all be our own one true love!” Penny revealed.

Victoria Teasdale, professional stress consultant and coach explained why we need to accept the fact that some people simply prefer time alone.

“Humans are made up of our own unique genetic code. When you realise that there are approximately 3 billion base pairs in the genome and that each of us can house variations of them that are infinitely unique, it’s about time that the word ‘normal’ is dropped from the vocabulary used to describe people.”

She explained: “While there is a benefit for us to be social, oxytocin release, problem-solving etc, some of us simply aren’t designed to be social people.”

“As a society, we do not teach people how to define their individuality.  In fact, it's better for corporations if we all aspire to be the same, we're easier to market to that way.

“What you're doing by saying 'it's unhealthy not to socialise' is pinning everyone as the same, discounting the fact that there's a LOT of variation in people who don't fall into the 'abnormal enough to be labelled' category."

So, what can we do to make a positive change? “What is needed is a shift towards teaching people how to discover their unique identities, their strengths, struggles, quirks and needs.

"To allow them to express themselves however they see fit. And if that means sitting at home with a book on a Friday night… That's ok by me!”

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No matter how much you might love your job, there are few among us who don't find ourselves struggling against those classic Sunday Night Blues as Monday morning creeps ever closer.

And such is the extent of our weekly woe, many of us fail to realise the true potential of a well-spent Sunday evening.

Relaxing and unwinding before diving back into the working week is essential, but so too is putting a little prep and planning into ensuring a successful week ahead.

From brisk walks and at-home manicures to goal checklists, reclaiming your Sunday with our simple P plan has never been so easy.

Press pause

There comes a point on Sunday evening when you have to accept that the weekend is coming to an end, and it's time to look ahead and stop clinging to the last vestige of the previous days' festivities.

While it sounds harsh, there is no point in dragging your Sunday Fear into Monday morning because you were unable to draw a line under your days off.

Telling yourself you're simply pressing pause on your down-time until next weekend is a simple way to focus your mind.

Plan your week

Much of the anxiety brought about by Sunday night stems from concern over commitments and responsibilities awaiting us in the week ahead.

Take 30 minutes to sit down and consider the next five days, so you have a clear idea of what is expected from you.

It sounds like a bummer to consider work-related events during time-off, but it really helps to alleviate stress.

Pamper yourself

After you've accepted the fact that work is looming, and dedicated some time to considering the week ahead, it's time to focus on treating yo'self!

Why not indulge your hands with an at-home manicure from Sally Hansen which guarantees a salon finish without the price tag? With an incredible array of products which protect, condition and strengthen your nails, Sally Hansen provides you with all the tools need for a high-quality treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Taking the time to pamper yourself on a Sunday evening is a guaranteed way to relax, and ease yourself into the next five days.

Pound the streets

It's rare you'll return from a brisk walk and not feel much better than when you left.

Shake off the cobwebs from the weekend's excesses by grabbing your runners and going for a 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood.

Not only will it help you sleep better (something that is absolutely vital on a Sunday night), but it will help clear your head if your planning hasn't quite done the job!

Prepare your outfit

A very simple way to rid yourself of Sunday night fear is to prepare an outfit (from underwear to accessories) for the following morning.

Take the time to iron your clothes, and tidy out your handbag so your Monday morning doesn't involve frantically rooting through your laundry bin or fighting your way through mountains of receipts in search of your Leap Card.

Covering the little things makes Monday mornings so much more doable.

Praise and preach

Now is the time to truly relax… because it is still the weekend, after all!

Praise yourself for getting ahead of the game by tending to vital tasks, give props to yourself for taking the time to treat yourself, and remind your friends to do the same by getting straight on WhatsApp and preaching the good word!

 

Brought to you by
Sally Hansen

When it comes to nail care, Sally Hansen’s wide range of products guarantees a salon-quality finish … at a snip of the price. From treatments to polishes, the range is exactly what you need when you want to make nailcare a priority without breaking the bank. Available in pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide with prices ranging from €6.99 to €10.99.

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People throw the term self-care around a lot and it can lose it meaning when it’s solely associated with buying Lush bath bombs and painting your nails, but self-care isn't just about manicures and face masks.

There are so many things you can do to look after both your mental and physical health so I thought I’d put a list of my top self-care tips together that don’t revolve around you spending half a day's wages in Boots.

1. Book your smear test

2. Cleanse your skin twice

3. Take a multivitamin in the morning

4. Stop drinking caffeinated drinks after 6pm

5. Take your full lunch break

6. Delete take-away apps off your phone

7. Get off the bus a stop early and walk 

8. Listen to podcasts when you feel anxious

9. Use all of your annual leave

10. Don’t drink coffee when you’re due your period

11. Go to therapy

12. Eat some vegetables

13. Eat some chocolate

14. Buy yourself flowers

15. Drink 8 glasses of water a day

16. Stop comparing yourself to people on social media

17. Watch an old movie from your childhood 

18. Go to the dentist

19. Read at least ten pages of a book every day

20. Go to the cinema by yourself

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For any only children or owners of brothers out there, having a sister is truly epic, and now that statement is backed up by science. 

Okay, you may have clothes and makeup stolen from your room on the regular and you may have to be the gatekeeper of many a cover story to your parents, but having a sister to confide in scientifically makes women happier people. 

Findings by De Montfort University and Ulster University found that sisters encourage open communication about each others emotions, which leads to elevated moods and feelings of happiness.

'Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families,’ Professor Tony Cassidy explained to The Telegraph.

‘However, brothers seem to have the alternative effect.'

'Emotional expression is fundamental to good psychological health and having sisters promotes this in families.' 

Image result for sisters kardashian

'It could be that boys have a natural tendency not to talk about things.'

'With boys together it is about a conspiracy of silence not to talk. Girls tend to break that down.’

So that solves it – having sisters officially improves your quality of life (even if it doesn't always feel that way)

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Going off track from time to time is perfectly normal, especially over the summertime and breaks when we tend to feel more relaxed and carefree. Emerging from a global pandemic is, however, a significant event that can easily throw our worlds into chaos. If you've had your kids at home for the past eight weeks, while you work and perhaps care for an elderly relative, it's no wonder that you've deviated from your daily routine. Lie-ins, lots of screen time, too much junk food, alcohol and late nights are all to be expected, but when this lockdown lifts, it can be a challenge to get back into the old schedule. 

A lot has happened in the last few weeks. But despite the overwhelming sense of uncertainty, it appears we are still remaining hopeful moving forward.

A recent survey conducted online by PrecisionBiotics®, the manufacturers of Zenflore®, found that while people were eating, drinking alcohol and cooking more during his COVID crisis, two-thirds remain positive about the future. 

It's essential to accept that there will be challenges for everyone adjusting to their own new norm. However, while the stress is understandable according to Virgin Media's 'Doctor in the house', GP, Sinead Beirne, it is essential we keep our anxiety to a manageable level. "In small doses, stress can actually be a good thing, it has many advantages, but chronic or high levels of stress has been linked to health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type two diabetes and depression."

Dr Sinead Beirne continues: "Everyone of all ages is facing challenges daily, and managing stress levels is key to maintaining good health through this COVID crisis."

Here are 5 ways to help you adjust to 'normal' life again.

  1. Exercise

The free drug without any side effects! Stick to the 5km rule and make use of your garden if you are fortunate enough to have that space. It’s important that we get out in the open fresh air while practising social distancing and good hand hygiene. Exercise is great and the treatment of choice for mild to moderate anxiety. I always recommend it to my patients. My personal favourite is walking. You can do it into your 90’s.

  1. Sleep

Be mindful of sleep hygiene for you and your family members. Put away your phone and turn off the computer. It’s important to have a wind-down period before you go to sleep. Spend time offline with children before bedroom answering any questions or concerns they may have in an age-appropriate way. Also, Avoid caffeine and alcohol after 6 pm.

  1. Food 

Start to make good food choices again- Fueling your body with good nutritious food helps you to cope. Take time to eat, chew and enjoy your food.

  1. Mindfulness 

Whether you’re using an app on your phone or just taking 10 minutes by yourself, taking down time has great benefits. Pay attention to the present moment, without judgement. You’ve got to practice it to perfect the art.

  1. Talk

Whether about your concerns to a best friend, a spouse or a parent. This can sometimes be as effective as attending a counsellor or psychologist. When we bottle things up, our worries can seem out of proportion. Use social media for this purpose, reach out on Facetime or Skype but stay connected.

Finally, Positive Thinking

When you think and talk about what you want and how to get it, you feel happier and in greater control of your life. When you think about something that makes you happy, your brain actually releases endorphins, which give you a generalized feeling of well-being. As a result, you develop a positive attitude. As a nation, Ireland continues to rank well in the World Happiness Reports putting it ahead of the likes of Germany, France and the United States. 

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I love a good cry every now and then. Sometimes all you need to do is sob to your heart's content when life gets a little overwhelming.

We may feel embarrassed or silly when we cry but fear not my friends, a new study has found that crying is actually good for you.

Researchers in Japan confirmed that crying can actually make you happier. The team of researchers explained that crying can help reduce stress meaning you live a happier and calmer life.

Basically, crying is an act of self-defence against accumulating stresses.

“The act of crying is more effective than laughing or sleeping in reducing stress. If you cry once a week, you can live a stress-free life," said Hidefumi Yoshida told the Japan Times.

Hidefumi Yoshida believes watching heart wrenching movies, listening to emotional songs or reading harrowing books can help make you feel better, even when you’re a blubbering, snotty nosed wreck.

So, next time you’re having a bad day fetch the tissues, watch The Fault In Our Stars and just let the tears roll.

Having a cry is good for the soul so don’t be afraid to let the tears out after a bad day at work, after arguing with your bestie or when you're watching a tear-jerker at the cinema.

Trust me, holding back the tears is no good for you. I tried to do so in a very quiet cinema whilst watching A Star Is Born and ended up with a headache for the remainder of the day, so when you gotta cry, cry.

Don’t be ashamed about it. If scientists say it’s good for you then let the tears fall.

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