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A Good Start To Your Day: Wellbeing

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 A Good Start To Your Day: Wellbeing

Secrets of everyday wellbeing. Someone once said the secret of happiness is having someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. There’s probably some truth in this, although it doesn’t mean you have to have an adoring spouse or partner, a high-powered job and a world cruise coming up to enjoy life.

The ’someone to love’ could be a friend, relative or pet, and the ’something to do’ and ’something to look forward to’ could be just about anything you enjoy. But even if you have those three ’somethings’, there may be times when you don’t feel very happy. Our mood can be affected by all sorts of things, including lifestyle, past experiences and genetic factors.

Scientists think that people who always seem to be in a good mood may simply have naturally higher levels of certain substances - endorphins (types of hormone) and the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. These are released by the brain and make us feel good when we’re enjoying ourselves or when something pleasant happens.

Our state of mind is only partly influenced by the past or by physical factors. The rest is down to us - the way we think about things and how we manage different aspects of our lives. Most of us have much more influence over our feelings than we may think.

We can’t always avoid negative thoughts, but one of the secrets of mental balance is being able to notice when you’re ‘choosing’ or ‘allowing yourself’ to think negatively rather than positively, and keeping an eye on the way your lifestyle affects your mood.

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