Writing down the good things that have happened during the day, getting out into nature and setting realistic goals can all help you achieve a more positive outlook
Many of us would like to be happier, but there is no quick fix. “I would argue that becoming upbeat is an action,” says Dr Melanie Rendall, the principal clinical psychologist at the Homerton University Hospital NHS foundation trust. “It is learning to take that small step in a direction that moves us towards what is important to us, and making space on that journey for a mind that will invariably throw all sorts of nonsense at us to send us off course.” Pressure to feel a certain way – what Rendall calls the “shoulds, oughts and musts” of a goal-oriented culture and relentless self-comparison – can lead us further away from what we truly value and what might really make us happy. So, rather than aiming to be happy in the future, take little actions now that make you feel better.