Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, but there are some changes you can make right now that could help the lower points become far less frequent.
- Swap smoking for vaping
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, emulate the sensation of smoking traditional, tobacco cigarettes by producing a water vapour that has been found by Public Health England to be 95 per cent less harmful than cigarette smoke. Vaping – the use of e-cigarettes – has exploded in popularity over the last five years or so: the lack of smoke makes it a much less antisocial activity; rechargeable versions are cheaper in the long run; and the vaping experience can be customised according to taste.
As well as that, e-cigarettes are fast on the way to becoming recognised as a genuinely effective stop-smoking aid. The Public Health England report states that vaping is the most popular aid for those attempting to give up smoking, and e-cigarettes are due to become medically regulated in 2016, which could make them available on prescription.
- Get a handle on your stress levels
If you find yourself awake at 3am, heart pounding for no discernible reason, it could be that your mind and body are struggling to deal with the stress placed upon them each day. You might be overreacting to seemingly trivial things, and being hard on yourself when you find it hard to relax.
Part of feeling stressed is the sense that you’re losing control of a situation. So try to take back some parts of your day, either by taking part in exercise routines or yoga classes, or even by sounding out your boss about altering your working hours.
The NHS has some stress-busting tips here.
- Reduce your alcohol intake
‘Please drink responsibly’ may sound slightly nagging, but the line seen on adverts for alcoholic drinks drinks sums up how best to imbibe without it having a negative impact.
You don’t have to completely abstain to notice a positive mental impact. Two to three units a day if you’re a woman is the recommended daily limit; for men it’s three to four. More than this too regularly and you may notice feelings of depression, anxiety and aggression.
It’s tempting to ‘drown out’ difficult circumstances with alcohol when often all that will happen is the negativity will feel more pronounced.
If you do feel your drinking may be a problem, seek advice from your GP.
- Share what’s bothering you
While talking about feelings can make some people recoil in discomfort, the benefits can far outweigh the perceived negatives. Communication is a useful way to release tension – but it doesn’t have to be in a formal therapy setting to prove helpful. Discuss a tricky work or relationship situation – just sharing your thoughts can help you see things from a different perspective, and perhaps lessen your worries.
- Upgrade your diet
Not only will balancing your diet make you feel physically healthier, it’ll also improve your state of mind. Just knowing that you’ve made a positive change to what you eat will boost your self-esteem, while letting you concentrate for longer and feel more alert.
Not sure what to include on your weekly shopping list? Head to this NHS guide.