January is a terrible time for stock-taking - the so-called period of rejuvenation casts a harsh light on the areas of your life you may not be happy with.
HuffPostUK Lifestyle asked Action For Happiness director Mark Williamson to tell us what his remedies are for coping with that bad relationship, terrible job and general malaise of unhappiness.
I'm not happy with the job I'm doing
Work is a big part of life so it's important we don't let it make us miserable. Changing job isn't always an option, but the good news is that there are little things we can do which make a big difference to we feel at work. Here are three examples: 1) Stop to chat to colleagues and get to know them better. 2) Notice three good things that happen each day, even when it's been a tough day. 3) Go out of your way to support others - by helping them you'll feel great too.
I don't think my partner makes me happy
This is a tough one, but more common than we realise. All around us people appear blissfully happy with their partners, yet the reality is that every relationship has problems. The best starting point for improving things is to have an honest and open (but non-judgemental) conversation about how you feel and why. Beyond that you have to decide: is the unhappiness really caused by your partner; or is it more about your own expectations and reactions? A small positive shift in your attitude could make a big difference to how you both feel and how you treat each other.
I feel like I'm stuck in a rut - just going between work and my house
It's very common to feel stuck in a rut - repeating the same old predictable behaviours day after day. But if we want things to be different, we actually have to do something different. Thankfully, the best way isn't necessarily to make a "big change" overnight - instead try little daily changes that push you slightly beyond your normal habits.
One great way is to try this new Do Happiness programme which sends you personalised daily actions.
I'm not happy with my body
Like many things in life, our appearance and health are determined by a mixture of things we can control and things we can't. The trick to feeling happy with yourself is to work on the things you can (e.g. eating healthily or getting enough sleep) but avoid stressing about the things you can't (e.g. the size of your nose or how tall you are). Ultimately, when we accept ourselves for who we really are, we tend to be happier - and this in turn has a positive impact on how we look and feel.
I hate the weather
There's no doubt that miserable weather can leave us feeling miserable too. But surprisingly, research shows that perfect weather is not a very good long-term predictor of happiness either. Our relationships and attitudes are much more important than the temperature outside. So try to ignore the cold and rain and focus instead on doing things you love with the people you love, whatever the weather! Before you know it the sun will come out again.
To try the Do Happiness Programme, click here.
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