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I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me


Find ways to bounce back

All of us have times of stress, loss, failure or trauma in our lives. But how we respond to these has a big impact on our wellbeing.

We often cannot choose what happens to us, but in principle we can choose our own attitude to what happens. In practice it's not always easy, but one of the most exciting findings from recent research is that resilience, like many other life skills, can be learned.  Read more



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How do you bounce back in tough times?

Tell us

I allow time to process sadness, grief, loss - knowing I can't move on until I have done so. I remind myself of the successful things I have achieved, including 4 great, balanced and successful children. I always have a number of projects on the go, so if one doesn't work out there are always other things to move on to. I breathe to calm anxiety; I meditate (not necessarily sitting); I talk to supportive friends and family; I write

Lucy, Norwich, UK2 Sep 2010, 13:31

I've learnt this! My resiliance is so much higher than it was! You have to realise that perfection cannot be acheived when you don't have total control - and in life that is impossible. You have to learn that life never stays the same - things always change. You have to focus on the positive - because in my experience there is always some...focus on what really matters...

Claire, Derby, UK2 Sep 2010, 13:31
I'm lucky to be a fairly optimistic person in general, but like everyone I have my difficult moments - particularly when I feel trapped by all the things I have to do and start sleeping badly. I find remembering the things that are good - family, friends, humour, good memories etc - really helps me keep going until the clouds start to clear and things look a bit brighter. Talking honestly to others about how difficult things are really helps too. Mark, Kingston, Surrey2 Sep 2010, 13:31

In September last year, my relationship ended, after 27 years. I have a right to feel alone and lonely. At the same time, I am determined to feel complete in myself. A key thing, I think, is to sort out the feelings that are real. Many of the hurts that we feel are really a recourse to childhood modes of behaviour - we bawl in order to get noticed and hopefully persuade someone else to do the hard work of sorting out our problems. It is lovely when people show concern for me, but it would be neurotic to depend on this (and counter-productive). So, again, I try to be complete in myself whilst staying open to the kindness in people.

Laurie, Isle of Wight2 Sep 2010, 13:31

Happiness facts

Our happiness is not set in stoneAlthough our genes influence about 50% of the variation in our personal happiness, our circumstances (like income and environment) affect only about 10%.

As much as 40% is accounted for by our daily activities and the conscious choices we make. So the good news is that our actions really can make a difference.

Positive emotions make us more resilientOur emotions affect our long term well-being. Research shows that experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio with negative ones leads to a tipping point beyond which we naturally become more resilient to adversity and better able to achieve things.
Happiness is good for your heart

Harvard School of Public Health examined 200 separate research studies on psychological wellbeing and cardiovascular health.

Optimism and positive emotion were found to provide protection against cardiovascular disease, to slow progression of heart disease and reduce risk, by around 50%, of experiencing a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack.

Together we're stronger

Having a network of social connections or high levels of social support has been shown to increase our immunity to infection, lower our risk of heart disease and reduce mental decline as we get older.

Not having close personal ties has been shown to pose significant risks for our health.


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