Middle-Aged Brits Are The Most Miserable People In The UK

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Its been quite a week. What with England failing to make the final of the World Cup after being defeated by Croatia on Wednesday; the unexpected but much appreciated lengthy heatwave beginning to cool off; and the various political tussles that we’re not even going to touch on. It’s not surprising that some of us are feeling a little blue. If you’re aged between 45 and 59 years, this week might have hit you harder than most.

A new survey has revealed that middle-aged Brits are the most miserable, unfulfilled people in the UK. Health is the most common reason for unhappiness among this age group. Those who believe their health is bad are 14 times more likely to be unhappy than those in good health. However, being separated, divorced, unemployed or unhappy in their job and renting rather than owning their home can also play a role.

On the other end of the spectrum, students and those in early retirement are likely to be the most content and if you’re young, educated and married you might just be living your best life.

For the rest of us, here’s a few tips on how to boost your happiness levels…

Move more

Plenty of studies have proved that regular exercise not only improves our health, but also increases our endorphin (happy hormone) levels. This doesn’t mean you have to sign-up to a gruelling, sweaty spin class or hit the gym five times a week, instead find an activity you like and schedule it into your week where you can. Walking, running, swimming, you name it. It could even be a lifestyle change, such as walking to the train station rather than jumping on a bus, or walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift. As long as it raises your heart rate, you’re doing alright.

Look after your gut

Researchers are still exploring the impact our gut has on the rest of our body, but some studies have indicated a link between a healthy functioning gut and our emotional wellbeing. While any good quality probiotic should help promote good bacteria, Florassist Mood by Life Extensions has been specially formulated to help not only rebalance the bacteria in our gut, but also to improve the signalling between our gut and our nervous system.

Make a list

This is particularly useful if you’re feeling unhappy or unfulfilled at work. Making a list of what you like and don’t like, as well as where you’d like to be in the future can help give negative thoughts a constructive twist.

Take time out

For some this might be meditating or partaking in a yoga class, for others it’s binging on trashy TV or reading a book. Taking time for yourself doesn’t have to be virtuous, you just need to switch off from the tensions and dramas of day-to-day life and relax. We recommend investing in Soul Medicine’s Inner Smile Mist to set the tone. Admittedly, this is no mean feat if you have young children, but where possible having a little me-time and checking out can help you relax.

Have a clean-up

There’s the saying ‘tidy home, tidy mind’ and having a good deep clean of your home, desk or car could really help make space in your mind. If you need any more encouragement, it’s also been proven that you sleep better in a tidy bedroom.

Is The Hot Weather Giving You Rage?

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Last week we called it a heatwave, but with the high temperatures set to stay for at least another week it looks like we’re in the midst of the summer we’ve all been dreaming of for the past 20 years. While most of us have been thoroughly enjoying the bout of hot weather with BBQs, picnics and paddling pools, you wouldn’t be alone if you’ve found yourself struggling in the heat.

Whether someone nudges you on the tube, undertakes you on the motorway or jumps the queue in Sainsbury’s, it’s likely to irritate you more than it might usually as your your patience could be more frayed. In fact, there are plenty of studies to show that the heat really can bring out the worst in us. One such study in 2001 found that hot temperatures increase aggression by directly increasing feelings of hostility. Last year, a study revealed that retail workers are 50 percent less likely to actively engage with customers if it’s hot outside.

How can you reduce this rage? The obvious answer would be to stay away from human beings for as long as the heat lasts and relax in that paddling pool. In reality, it’s about keeping cool, calm and hydrated. Scientists believe that dehydration could play a key role in increasing irritability in the heat. In 2012, a study showed that women who lost 1.5 percent of their body’s normal water content were tenser and more anxious.

We’ve recommend Physicool Rapid Cooling Mist, £12.99, several times over the past couple of weeks for the simple fact that it’s inexpensive and cools you down almost instantly. You can mist it over your face, across your pulse points and onto your ankles and feet.

It might also be worth investing in Florassist Mood by Life Extension £26. While taking a probiotic to help keep your rage in-check might sound a little far-fetched, there are links between our nervous system and gut. Florassist Mood helps with the signalling between the two and can genuinely help balance your mood. And with no end for the hot weather in sight, it’s worth taking them now.

January Newsletter

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Hello and welcome to 2018 and the January newsletter; I was ever so tempted to make this the first-ever non-product related newsletter because there are so many things that I want to write about other than products. So this is what we are going to do; I am mostly going to write about health issues (actually Shabir is doing nearly all of that) and in between I will have a few soapbox moments, do some feedback, introduce you to new members of our team (exciting!) and somewhere amongst all of this there are a couple of treats and of course the feature articles, which are pretty profound this month.

As the new year begins, the buzz phase is self-care; it is everywhere you look. The New York Times (and as reported in Grazia) has declared that ‘self-care is the new going out’. We are notoriously bad in the UK at doing self-care and I am no exception. We feel guilty about nurturing ourselves and our needs, but in this brave new self-care world I actually ran away (far away) just before Christmas and for the first time ever I didn’t plug my laptop in and I turned my phone off. Life continued. Read More…

How To Tackle Low Mood

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There are hundreds of thousands of people taking mood elevating drugs to tackle the symptoms of low mood and yet there have always been questions asked about whether mood elevating drugs actually work. Aside from whether this class of drugs work or are effective at all, the other question often raised is whether mood elevating drugs are safe to take.

According to the latest statistics, the use of mood elevating drugs continues to rise. Even more frightening is the fact that a quarter of those taking a mood elevating drug will remain on these for a decade or even longer. What is intriguing is that several studies appear to indicate that in some instances mood elevating drugs work no better than a placebo.

If you are feeling a bit down or have symptoms of anxiety and stress, one has to question whether mood elevating drugs would be the first choice or whether other strategies might be the answer. Read More…

How To Beat The Winter Blues

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Q: As the evenings draw in and it’s dark when I get up, I notice that my energy levels dip and I want to eat more – usually carbs, which is unlike me – and sleep more. Does this mean that I have seasonal depression? If so, what can I do about it?

A: Full-blown seasonal depression affects eight per cent of people in the UK during winter, according to the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA, sada.org.uk). Unlike other forms of depression, ‘people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) tend to sleep more, eat more and gain weight’, explains Dr Norman Rosenthal (normanrosenthal.com), the psychiatrist who first described and named SAD in the 1980s. Read More…

December Newsletter

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Hello and welcome to the December newsletter. Historically this last newsletter of the year has always been rather different to the rest. Often referred to as the ‘bonkers newsletter’, each year we do something different and this year I have decided that we are going to do the first-ever-full-on VH Awards. Nobody has voted and in fact nobody knows anything about them except me and Shabir, who did another eyeroll to heaven when I told him that I had self-appointed myself to be judge and jury on proceedings.

Even before I start writing I know that it may well get out of control, but its been a bit of an ‘out of control’ year, so we may as well continue right to the end. As ever with the December newsletter, there are treats right the way through and you will need to read very carefully because I wouldn’t want you to miss out as we only have a limited amount, so you will need to be fast for some of them.

That said, what would a newsletter be if we didn’t launch some new products. I am going to begin with two new launches and then I’m going to change into an incredible Dolce & Gabbana creation (in my dreams), plonk a tiara on my head and present the awards. Let’s go: Read More…