In the drudgery of the everyday, it can be easy to become lost in boredom and self-pity. Yet some people seem remarkably resilient to life’s blows: exuding the cheeriness of Mary Poppins on even the gloomiest day.
How do they manage it? While some people may be
blessed with a sunny temperament, there are some tried and tested ways
that should help anyone to improve their mood. Often the techniques take
just minutes to practise, yet can have lasting benefits for your
general life satisfaction and well-being.
The University of California, Berkley recently reviewed the best of these techniques on their “Greater Good in Action” website. We’ve chosen some of our favourites here for a week’s plan to help you battle stress.
venting your anger aggressively only aggravates a bad mood. Source: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
more generous people are happier and healthier, as BBC Future recently explored. Source: Review of General Psychology
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science
ready-made video on some of the greatest sights on Earth? Source: Psychological Science
If abstaining for a week sounds a bit too much like hard work, you can at least try to practise mindfulness during your favourite activity.
When taking a sip of coffee, for instance, concentrate on the complex
symphony of flavours washing over your taste buds. This too has been
shown to help you appreciate the small pleasures in life, easing stress
and anxiety. Source: Social Psychological and Personality Science
a no-nonsense practical guide here. Source: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
David Robson is BBC Future’s feature writer. He is @d_a_robson on twitter. Olivia Howitt is BBC Future’s picture editor. She is @oliviahowitt on Twitter.