By Dan Bennett, Senior Behavioural Strategist at Ogilvy Consulting's Behavioural Science Practice
You have a choice today.
It is largely up to you as to whether you wish to wallow in solitary sadness on Blue Monday, the supposed most depressing day of the year. Or if you prefer to enjoy yourself.
This truth, the basis of most psychological therapies, means you can choose to believe that today will be wholly depressing – and this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as you will look out for depressing things so that’s what you’ll find – or you can choose to believe it will be a happy day in which case you’ll find happy things to back this up.
It really is up to you.
Should you choose the happier route, here are three things that might help:
1 – Smile….and the world smiles with you.
When we smile, feel-good chemicals are released into our brains and our bodies relax. Our blood pressure can also be lowered. As smiling is contagious, your happiness can help those around you feel more positive too.
2 – Remember the power of giving
From offering someone a genuine compliment, to giving up your seat on the tube, to donating to charity, there is growing research to show altruistic behavior is linked with a greater sense of wellbeing. So if you are feeling a little blue today, why not do something nice for someone else? It might just pique your positivity.
3 – Be thankful
It’s not rocket science – remembering the things and people we are grateful for can make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. It’s no surprise then that research has shown when you take time to appreciate what you already have, you feel more positive and optimistic.
And don’t forget, if those three techniques fail you, that could be because our environment has a massive impact on our mood. So check out the wellbeing of your neighbourhood here.