Cheer yourself up on ‘Blue Monday’

‘Blue Monday’ – supposedly the most depressing day of the year is today, so we wanted to give you some tips to cheer yourself up. But first read the fascinating results of our survey, which many of you participated in.

Feel Good Factor Survey Our survey of over 1600 people showed that Scotland is the least happy place in the UK whilst those living in the north west of England have the biggest smiles on their faces. Most people said that family made them the happiest, followed by good health, sunshine, being outdoors and friends. When asked what made you unhappiest both bad health and money worries were the biggest concern, followed by arguments, family problems and lack of sleep.

Unsurprisingly people overwhelmingly found January the most depressing month of the year but conversely found May the happiest – perhaps due to all those bank holidays. Nearly all respondents (98%) said they would make a few simple changes to their lifestyle and diet if they knew it would make them happier and wouldn’t be too much hassle! So, if you want to increase your happiness and improve your mood and memory, read on for our 4th tip on how to improve your mood. Why Omega-3 Fats are Essential for Good Mood Essential fats are one of the most potent mood-boosting ‘drugs’ when supplemented in concentrated capsules.

The dry weight of your brain is 60 per cent fat, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise to find that we all depend on a daily intake of essential fats. So essential are these fats that if a pregnant woman is deficient in them, her growing baby will rob her brain so that it can grow its own – it’s a case of ‘Mummy, I shrank your brain’, and one of the reasons why many pregnant women feel forgetful and prone to depression. Among pregnant women, the lower the intake of omega-3s the higher their chances of becoming depressed. A lack of fish or fish oil is also linked to increasing hostility and aggression. You can check whether you are getting enough essential fats in our Essential Fat Check. Although you can get a type of omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid in vegetation, such as flax and pumpkin seeds, by far the most potent omega-3 fat is EPA (the best source of which is oily fish) which turns into DPA then DHA.

These are the ‘Three Musketeers’ that not only keep your brain healthy, but also your heart. These musketeers are not just essential for building and rebuilding your brain but they’re also very much part of the equation for happiness. The higher your blood levels of omega-3 fats, the higher your levels of serotonin are likely to be. To help improve your mood and memory eat oily fish three times a week, supplement, twice daily, a capsule of essential omega-3 and 6 oils, providing around 250mg of EPA+DPA and supplement an additional EPA-rich omega-3 fish-oil capsule providing at least 300mg of EPA when you are feeling low. To find out more about omega-3 fats, where the best sources are and why they are so important to your mood and memory, take a look at The Feel Good Factor which explains 10 proven ways to boost your mood. And don’t forget I’ll be touring the UK and Ireland in March on the Feel Good Factor tour – click here to book your ticket.