We are advised to eat five portions of fruit and/or vegetables a day to keep healthy. Good sound advice.
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
Sports, hobbies such as gardening or dancing, or just a daily stroll will make you feel good and maintain mobility and fitness
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.