There are so many reasons for being unhappy in January, I won’t even name them, because doing so will merely fire depressive connections in your minds. What I will do is to give you ten reasons for being happy.
1. You have a choice. You might not want to admit it, but if you are feeling unhappy in January, you are deciding to be unhappy in January so here’s my suggestion. Stop it. Just stop being unhappy. Let it go. Now start reading the next nine points.
2. You are alive. This is not a scientific statement, but I am hazarding a guess that if you are reading this you have not passed into the great unknown. Where there is life, there is hope. Seize the day. Seize the hour. Seize January. You really are alive and there are many people aren’t, because they have died.
3. The sun is shining. Even if you are looking out of your window and it is dark, or grey and gloomy, above the clouds the sun is shining, and elsewhere in the world the sun will be beating down warming the ground and people’s skins. Go to those places now in your mind. Stop dwelling on the gloomy bits and the dark bits and remember and imagine the happy and sunny periods.
4. You have food. Many people in the world don’t but you do. Stop taking it for granted and savour it. Next meal, taste every mouthful and revel in the experience. Feel your stomach full and feel the contentment.
5. Stop thinking about yourself this minute. Send someone a message. Take somebody out for a cup of coffee. Phone your family, talk to somebody who is in difficulty – just do something for other people. You will feel better.
6. Cut back on drink for the rest of the month. Then cut back for the rest of your life. Notice how much better you sleep.
7. Eat more savoury and natural foods, and less meat and fries and stodge. You will feel lighter.
8. Go out for a walk, a jog, or a run. If you don’t feel better after it, you will be refunded in full.
9. Accept yourself as you are and accept other people as they are. Love yourself and love them. Try it. It will make you happier.
10. The really great news is there is nothing in No.10 apart from suggesting you take a deep breath.
Happy New Year and if none of the above works, or if you want to be happier still, take part in Action for Happiness’s “Exploring what matters” course.
As Britain's best-known headmaster, Sir Anthony famously introduced happiness, or well-being, lessons at his school, Wellington College. In 2011, he co-founded Action for Happiness, a body to raise awareness of the discovery of happiness and reduction of depression, whose influence is growing rapidly in Britain and across the world.