Five a day

We are advised to eat five portions of fruit and/or vegetables a day to keep healthy. Good sound advice.

image mjorge at Flickr

The Times reports today on a different kind of five-a-day target that relates more specifically to mental health.

The advised steps to happiness are:

Developing relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours will enrich your life and bring you support

Be active
Sports, hobbies such as gardening or dancing, or just a daily stroll will make you feel good and maintain mobility and fitness

Be curious
Noting the beauty of everyday moments as well as the unusual and reflecting on them helps you to appreciate what matters to you

Fixing a bike, learning an instrument, cooking – the challenge and satisfaction brings fun and confidence

Helping friends and strangers links your happiness to a wider community and is very rewarding

So there you go, some thoughts for an early new years resolution or two perhaps. They all seem fairly sensible to me as long as we can count virtual as well as ‘real’ connections!

One other pertinent fact came out of this research and is quoted in the article – namely

Half of people in Britain who are in debt have a mental disorder, compared with just 16 per cent of the general population.

That’s an enormous amount of people. It might be a thought for another day to consider the ways and means that these two factors influence each other, but that’s possibly too much for me to take on on a Saturday morning.

But a salutary thought as we move towards a recession.

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8 thoughts on “Five a day

  1. we never eat fruit around here or vegetables either on a regular basis. what does that say about us? well, we are trying to get better. i’ve recently had a bunch of coupons for those steam in the bag veggies and we’ve been eating those and yesterday i bought a big bag of bananas as that’s the only fruit i can get the boy to eat….i feel better already! oh, and i finally got a job interview! yea!

  2. “Half of people in Britain who are in debt have a mental disorder, compared with just 16 per cent of the general population.”

    Huh. I wonder if that’s a chicken or an egg thing.

    And good luck with the interview, prin.

  3. oh, anyone know how telephone interviews usually go? i don’t have a clue and have never had one before. it’s a preliminary interview with the regional supervisor…i’m assuming to decide if i’m worthy enough to interview with the local group. it’s as a home based counselor with adolescents. they also have inhouse counselors but i’m applying as the home based worker. they only have a case load of about 3/4 families. it sounds like a wonderful place…relocation assistance, tuition reimbursement, raises every six months full medical and dental, etc. they use the multisystemic therapy model and provide frequent supervision which would be good i think for me since it will be my first job. anyway before i ramble on too much…thanks for any input. would appreciate it.

  4. I rarely make the five a day thing, almost never drink enough water, don’t sleep nearly enough and exist on a diet of stress and bread products..therefore I am rather gratified to note I do rather better on the happiness “five a day” – not great, but better. I do think mood (and I am not talking about serious clinical stuff, just general mood) is at least partly habitual, people do seem to have a default mindset that sets their normal way of viewing the world, still a good walk and a bit of human interaction cant be anything but a help can it?

  5. antiSWer – I think it’s a bit of both (regarding the chicken/egg thing!).
    Prin – That sounds fantastic – definitely thinking of you!

    Caroline – That’s kind of what I think too. All good things, both the eating fruit part and the ‘happiness’ part and none of it does any harm..

  6. Well, I don’t eat my veggies and fruit like I should, but I do have a salad almost every night at dinner.

    As for the other stuff, I don’t think I’m doing half bad.

    Prin: Excellent news!

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