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Why THIS should be your 2017 New Years Resolution

Image Credit: Catherine J Kim

Image Credit: Catherine J Kim

With less than one week to the new year (LEGIT WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE), the time has come for us to get creative and jazzy with them New Years Resolutions for 2017.

This post is therefore timely. But unlike other posts that will give you the #101 on how to stick to your New Years Resolution of losing weight (nope), to going to the gym five times a week (also, nope), to no drinking (nah), to not wasting your money on clothes (AFTERPAY THO) or food (yeah, nah cya)... this post is about you throwing all that talk out the window, to focus on something a lot more important.

With one in five (20%) Australians experiencing a mental illness in any year, mental health is a critical issue. Whilst organisations like BeyondBlue, and the BlackDog Institute do a fantastic job on raising awareness towards mental illness in Australia, it is important that you yourself take the first steps to putting your mental health as a priority.

When we are free from depression, anxiety, excessive stress, worry and addictions, we are more able to live our lives to the fullest. 

So - Grab a cuppa, we are here to share some tips on how you can be "Happier and less stressed" in 2017 (and we have got the research to back us up on these too, to make us sound extra smart):

1. Take a media strike 

From TV shows, to tragic news stories (RIP Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher :(), to anxiety created by everyday social stresses like watching the USA Presidential Election, Instagram, seeing "that" guy from school who now owns a private jet on Facebook, comparing yourself to the VS models and feeling sorry for the foodbaby you have created over Christmas - how could a person not live in a perpetual state of stress!?  

Research in fact shows, that constant exposure to negative news can have a detrimental impact on mental health.  If you feel like it is bringing you down, unplug yourself from watching the news, and being on social media. 

It's okay, you won't miss out. In fact, it is likely that you will be saving yourself some valuable time, as you will only find out the important worthy news, from your colleagues or friends. More time in your pocket!? Bam!

2. Cut out toxic people 

Know the difference between being there for a good pal through a tough time, or being around someone who is constantly stressed, and dramatic over every minuscule situation.

You know what we are talking about. People who always complain, people who always point the finger at others, those who are never shy of a dose of drama.

Why? Because research shows stress is contagious and could be damaging to your well-being.

3. Random acts of kindness 

"The gift of giving is far more superior than receiving" - Shawn Bunch

Random acts of kindness can go a long way. Whether it be to buy your mentor a coffee or a meal, sending a bunch of flowers to a friend who is down, or smiling at a stranger.

Research has shown that "random acts of kindness" can boost your mood, increase your life satisfaction, and compel you to perform more acts of kindness. 

4. Plan a vacation 

It doesn't matter whether it is a weekend adventure, day trip, or an excuse to use up your vacation days - hit the road, there is SO much to see! But I hear you, "WAH IT COSTS MONEY THOUGH". We know we know.

But hey - with AirBNB, camping tents and Camper vans so readily accessible, an overnight stay can be costing you less than $60 a night (or less if shared). If you opt out of buying that morning coffee for a few days, you've got it in the bag. 

And guess the hell what, there is again, research to confirm that planning a trip can increase one's happiness

5. Allow yourself to be sad 

Life is tough, so it is definitely okay to let yourself be sookie once in a while.

In fact (you know it), research has shown that crying can be cathartic, allowing you to process whatever is upsetting you better. So honey, grab the Kleenex and make it rain. 

6. Give yourself a break!

"Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into the person you wish to be, long enough to find out who you really are." - Robert Holden on Oprah

We ain't no Superhumans. We are never going to make "everyone happy" and we are never going to be able to "do it all", so cut yourself some slack, because you are your own worst critic. Accept yourself, wholly. Because research has shown that it is a key to a happier life, but many rarely practice it. 

To 2017! - an exuberant year of tranquil.

We'd love to hear what tips you guys have on how you guys plan to being happy and less stressed in 2017.