The Global Mind Project’s ‘Mental State of the World’ report has cast a spotlight on the UK’s happiness ranking, revealing it as the second-least happy nation globally, with only Uzbekistan trailing behind.

This conclusion stems from survey responses of over 400,000 individuals across 71 countries, highlighting a notable dip in global mental health since 2020. This has sparked conversations around the factors contributing to this universal sense of melancholy.

Awa Njie, Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Living Well UK, shares insights into the root causes of this gloom. She notes that numerous factors contribute to the current state of distress among her clients, including financial anxiety due to the cost of living crisis, work-related stress and burnout, as well as concerns over current events. The impact of shorter daylight hours during winter further exacerbates feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Despite these challenges, there’s a silver lining. Awa, along with other experts, suggests five actionable strategies supported by scientific evidence to enhance one’s mood and begin to feel a little bit more happy starting today.

Go Outside in the Day

Awa emphasises the significance of daylight on mental health, explaining how exposure to natural light influences mood, motivation, and sleep cycles. Even brief outdoor activities, whether it’s a short walk or spending time in the garden, can substantially improve wellbeing.

Move Your Body

Highlighting the mental health benefits of exercise, Awa points out its role in releasing endorphins, which boost mood and alleviate stress. Lottie Whyte, Co-Founder of MyoMaster, also underscores the mental uplift that comes from physical activity, encouraging starting small with activities as simple as a walk or a home workout to overcome barriers to exercise.

Get Some Rest

Stressing the importance of sleep, Awa details how it’s crucial for emotional regulation and mental clarity. She offers practical advice for improving sleep quality, such as establishing a nightly routine and minimising screen time before bed. Melissa Snover, Founder and CEO of Nourished, adds that addressing nutritional deficiencies can aid in achieving restful sleep, mentioning how certain vitamins and minerals facilitate the production of melatonin and improve sleep quality.

Eat Better, Feel Better

Melissa further discusses how nutrition plays a pivotal role in mental wellbeing. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can significantly enhance mood and overall mental health, suggesting the inclusion of specific vitamins like 5-HTP and beta glucan for their mood-regulating properties.

Connect with Others

Awa concludes with the importance of social connections in fostering happiness. She references studies showing that strong social bonds and community cohesion are linked to lower rates of mental health issues, advocating for reaching out to friends, family, or even listening services to share concerns and feel less isolated.

In essence, while the challenges to mental health are multifaceted, these expert-endorsed strategies offer a beacon of hope for those seeking to become more happy, improve their mood and overall sense of wellbeing.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.