There is growing evidence that a mindful engagement with the world - being actively aware of our surroundings - is important for mental health. We can try to make sure that we notice the things around us. Be curious. Catch sight of something beautiful today. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking, eating lunch or talking to friends. Awareness of the world around you, what you are feeling and your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
Take notice - the evidence
Being aware of what is taking place around you is proven to promote a positive mental state and helps to strengthen your self-awareness. Strong self awareness helps you make conscious choices that are in line with our individual values and motivations. Internalising and owning decisions in this way is an important way of bringing about long lasting changes to your life. Reminding yourself to take notice and to savour the moment is a step in the right direction, but remember to be patient - change happens slowly.
Change your mind set - the gratitude diary
A gratitude diary is a tool to help make you appreciate life's little pleasures more. It works by taking five minutes each day to list a few things or people in your life to be grateful for. It can be anything from enjoying some sunshine to a brief conversation with a neighbour. It may not be easy to recognise things at first, but after a few days it becomes more of a habit and soon you will start to feel grateful immediately. It is said to take at least 21 days to form a new habit so be patient and keep at it.
Take notice of what you eat
There are strong links between what you eat and how you feel. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to function well - just like all other organs in your body. A healthy diet includes lots of different types of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and breads, nuts and seeds, dairy products, oily fish and plenty of water. And remember to eat three meals every day and drink a lot - although not too much alcohol and try to limit the number of high caffeine or sugary drinks you have.
You can find out more in this short film.