The working week has only just started, but people across the country will already be looking forward to Friday.
However learning to embrace the start of the week is key to feeling happier overall, according to Britain’s first ‘doctor of happiness’.
Dr Andy Cope, who has 15 years’ experience in positive psychology, explained banishing the Monday blues is one of 10 steps everyone can take to feel more upbeat.
The expert, who worked in collaboration with Highland Spring, explained giving longer hugs, cutting down on social media and doing a selfless deed for someone else are all small ways to give yourself that boost.
This is particularly important to keep in mind as the nights get longer and winter draws in, as it’s a time of year when it’s easy to feel down in the dumps.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Dr Cope shared his advice…
Dr Andy Cope, who has 15 years’ experience in positive psychology, explained banishing the Monday blues is one of 10 steps everyone can take to feel more upbeat. Stock image
1. Fall in love with Mondays
Living for the weekend can leave us depressed when Monday looms in, but Dr Cope explained it was better to gear up for the week with a positive mindset.
‘Research from Highland Spring deemed Monday as the worst day of the week for feeling downbeat. Nobody likes Mondays and everyone celebrates Fridays,’ he said.
‘Dare to buck the trend. Stand up for Mondays! You spend a 7th of your life on Monday so quit waiting for the weekend and learn to love the start of the week.’
2. Be a hugger
There’s a lot of benefits to a good hug, and the longer the better.
‘The average hug lasts 2.1 seconds but for the love to transfer a hug needs to last 7 seconds or longer (but be warned, counting out loud spoils the effect),’ Dr Cope
3. Try a gratitude alphabet
4. Quit dieting
Dr Andy advised against constant dieting.
‘Quit whatever faddish diets you’re on and make the decision that, for the rest of your life, you’re a healthy eater. Just decide. Do it. Become that person,’ he said.
‘It helps if you lose the word “try”. Don’t tell yourself “I’m going to try and be a healthy eater”, tell yourself “I’m going to be a healthy eater”.’
Dr Cope gave a simple exercise to boost your happiness.
‘If you ever have trouble sleeping, instead of counting sheep, try counting your blessings. In your mind, run through what you’re grateful for, starting with A and finishing with Z,’ he said.
He gave a few examples: ‘Art, I love an original Picasso. Bed, there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Coffee, the smell of a fresh brew is the perfect start to my day.’
5. Get eight hours of sleep
A good night’s sleep will greatly influence your well-being.
Dr Cope said: ‘Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that enables you to live longer, enhances your memory, makes you more creative, more attractive, slimmer, wards off flu, lowers your risk of heart attack and results in raised levels of happiness.
‘Are you interested? Sleep! Treat yourself to the full 8 hours. It’s like winning the happiness lottery.’
Treat yourself to the ultimate zero-calorie, life-replenishing, sugar-free drink… water, said Dr Cope. For a bit of a treat, try a sip of sparkling water instead. Stock image
6. Be kind to others
‘The science of positive psychology tells us that the quickest way to make yourself feel good is to do a good deed for someone else,’ Dr Cope said.
‘It can be as simple as letting someone out in the traffic or buying flowers for the bus driver. If you get it right, the feel good-factor reverberates with the giver and receiver.’
8. Cut the social media
When the gloom looms, better put the phone away, Dr Cope suggested.
‘No explanation required, other than to remind you that in terms of happiness, one true flesh and blood friend will bring you more happiness than 1000 Facebook ones.
‘Cut your social media by 50% and spend time with real family and friends instead.’
Hydration is key to feeling happy and refreshed.
Dr Cope said: ‘The modern addiction to tea, coffee and sugary/caffeinated drinks results in dehydration. Without going into too much detail, dehydration can cause muscle cramping, weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and nausea.
‘So, treat yourself to the ultimate zero-calorie, life-replenishing, sugar-free drink… water. Sparkling water is a great way to make those everyday hydration moments that bit more special.
‘Top feel-good tip; quench your body’s thirst with a drop of refreshing water. Regularly.’
9. Multiply experiences
Collect moments, not things, in order to be truly happy.
‘The general rule is that happiness comes from doing stuff rather than accumulating stuff,’ Dr Cope said.
‘You’ll realise that the top 10 happiest moments of your life are “experiences” rather than “products” so set your stall out to have more experiences.’
10. Give Up
The expert pointed out that letting go of bad habits was the best way to prioritise happiness.
‘Feeling amazing is about starting new happiness habits, but it’s equally about giving up bad habits,’ he explained.
‘Ask yourself, what am I willing to give up to experience more happiness in my life? Maybe stop procrastinating, watch less TV, cut Facebook from your life, no more low-level grumbling, no more junk food.’