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Marina Gask-Ajani
6 January 10:04.
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What can I do on a daily basis to keep misery at bay?
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When you first wake up, take a moment to connect with yourself before you connect with the world. Instead of reaching for your phone and checking your emails and social media updates, check in with yourself and how you are doing. Take a moment to take deep breaths and acknowledge what is happening in the day ahead. 

Events around the world can make you feel like life is just increasingly grim, but it’s how you respond to these events that will dictate how you feel. Avoid petty political arguments on social media and instead look at how you might actively engage with organisations that are in alignment with what you believe in. 

"Become conscious of how you speak about things and make a conscious effort to avoid moaning, criticising, gossiping and complaining, all of which will feed your negativity." 

Identify ways in which you are being mean to yourself or self-destructive and begin to look at ways to dismantle and let go of these behaviours. Become conscious of how you speak about things and make a conscious effort to avoid moaning, criticising, gossiping and complaining, all of which will feed your negativity. And avoid “compare and despair” - looking at other people’s lives and assuming that they are better than yours. Things look very different on the outside than they feel on the inside. 

If you’re feeling particularly bleak in the post-festive period, give yourself a break from alcohol – its links with depression are well-documented.

"Reducing the amount of time you spend on electromagnetic devices is a good place to start, as these have been linked to depression, sleeplessness and anxiety."

Keep track of how you are spending your time and start to become aware of how much is spent on things you enjoy versus the basic requirements of life, like the washing up. Make time – in your diary if necessary - to increase your engagement with things and people you love. And reducing the amount of time you spend on electromagnetic devices is a good place to start, as these have been linked to depression, sleeplessness and anxiety. 

A few things that will make you feel more positive are spending time in nature, which is soothing and restorative; watching comedy which makes you laugh out loud releasing happy hormones endorphins, dopamine and serotonin; moving your body which releases feel-good endorphins (even brisk walking will make a difference); engaging in anything creative; meditation, which is excellent for mental health, your nervous system and overall wellbeing. Therapeutic practices such as EFT, yoga, mindfulness, conscious breathing and qi gong will improve your sense of life feeling ‘balanced’ and nourishment of the soul. Ensure you are getting enough support, especially when making big external changes - working with an expert will make it easier as well as saving you time and money.

If you spend time with people who leave you feeling light, happy and positive about life, and pursue interests that inspire you and excite you, you will soon see and feel the difference.