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UK anxiety levels have risen dramatically in the past 12 years

More people are struggling with their mental health than ever before, as the biggest study of its kind finds an ‘explosion’ of anxiety in British people The financial crash, austerity, Brexit, climate change, and social media. These are all things that researchers blame for a dramatic rise in the number of people living with anxiety in Britain. The results come from one of the biggest studies of its kind, lead by Professor Nick Freemantle, director of the Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit at

What to do when you feel hopeless

Follow these tips to harness pockets of positivity when you’re going through periods of helplessness We all feel hopeless every now and then – whether it stems from anxiety about things that are out of our hands, or in situations where the challenges seem immense. It almost feels like an understatement to say that 2020 has been a year full of challenges that are out of our hands. As reports continue to show the emotional impact of lockdown and COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that we ta

Happiful readers share their hopes and fears as Covid-19 restrictions tighten

As restrictions come back into force, and a second lockdown is on the cards, we reached out to Happiful readers to find out how they are feeling in the wake of the latest Covid-19 announcements It was something that many of us were beginning to suspect would be the case, but when PM Boris Johnson made a speech on 22 September outlining the changes in the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it brought back a wave of emotions. For some, there may have been anger and frustration, for

The seven-day plastic-free challenge

The world produces more than 380 million tonnes of plastic every year, and this can take up to 500 years to decompose. So is it possible to kick the habit? Happiful's Kathryn Wheeler gave it a go Cards on the table, when sustainable online shop Let’s Go Plastic Free challenged me to give up plastic for a week, my first reaction was a nervous: “But how?” I try to live an environmentally-conscious life, but the idea of living ‘plastic-free’ had me stumped. Yet, armed with some reusable goodies f

How to set boundaries when texting

Brb, ttyl, g2g – we used to be so good at stepping away from digital conversations, and it’s time to bring those old-school habits back into practice According to a study by Ofcom, people in the UK check their smartphones every 12 minutes of the waking day, with 40% of adults looking at their phone within the first five minutes of waking up. In so many ways, our smartphones are the focal point of our attention, and the conversations that we have on them follow us throughout our days. Our atten

6 mindful crafts to help you switch off

Get stuck into these easy, effective craft projects to help soothe a busy mind, challenge your creativity, and leave you with something to be proud of If life is what you make of it, when you choose to make art, things get a little brighter. Of course, sometimes the things that knock us off course are out of our hands, and we need extra support to get through. But when it comes to our everyday wellness, there can be real joy to be found in getting creative. And that’s a tip backed up by scienc

How to have a digital detox

Research has found that social media is more addictive than smoking and alcohol, and is associated with poor mental health. Take part in the campaign that's helping you take steps to switch off It’s a 21st-century experience that most of us can relate to: getting stuck in a social media spiral that sucks us in at any given opportunity. But is there a dark side to our technology habit, which could be impacting our mental health? The unsurprising answer is, yes, there is. A study by the Royal So

A third of girls won’t post selfies without a filter

According to findings, unrealistic beauty standards are increasing the pressure that girls feel to look a certain way Posting photos online should be a fun way to express yourself and stay in touch with friends and family, but new findings from Girlguiding’s annual Girls’ Attitude survey has highlighted a worrying trend among young people. In their survey of 1,473 girls and young women aged 11–21, 34% of respondents reported that they would not post a photo of themselves online without first a

Stevie Blaine opens up about body confidence for men

Blogger Stevie Blaine is part of the self-love revolution that’s asking all of us to unlearn the things that have kept us down. Here, we chat about his body confidence journey, masculinity, and how to support the next generation Hi Stevie! If you reflect on your body confidence journey, can you pinpoint when it all began? I grew up in the 90s, and at the time I looked at things like magazines, TV, and movies for validation. They just made me feel like I didn’t belong, that my body was a proble

5 love lessons we’ve learned in lockdown

Five people share their relationship wins while in lockdown with their partners, and open up about their hopes for the future It’s no overstatement to say that our relationships have truly been put to the test during lockdown. As our way of life changed overnight and the future was filled with uncertainty, we faced immense levels of stress and – as is so often the case when we’re struggling with our mental health – our nearest and dearest went through each dip and rise with us. Challenges such

Report reveals consequences of neglecting women’s health in lockdown

Insight suggests that COVID-19 restrictions mean that 1.9 million fewer women were able to access contraceptive services, resulting in 1.5 million unsafe abortions and more than 3,000 maternal deaths When lockdown restrictions came into place in March 2020, we faced a lot of uncertainty about how we would navigate vital services. But now, Marie Slopes International (MSI) – an organisation providing contraception and safe abortions in 37 countries – has revealed that a staggering number of women

How to embrace self-love and unlock your full potential

Discover the power of self-love and the ways that it can change your life, as we get the inside scoop from a life coach on the practical steps you can take to start falling head-over-heels for yourself The greatest gift we can give ourselves is self-love. It lifts us up, assures us of our strengths and worth, and carries us through the hard times. Of course, throughout our lives we may find ourselves riding through peaks and troughs in terms of our relationship with ourselves. One day, we migh

What is low-grade depression?

Michelle Obama recently opened up about experiencing ‘low-grade depression’ on her podcast, ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’. But what is 'low-grade depression' and how can it be managed? When Michelle Obama spoke about experiencing ‘low-grade depression' during the second episode of her podcast, ‘The Michelle Obama Podcast’, she sparked a conversation about the mental health spectrum, as well as the ways that events and situations can take a toll on our wellbeing. During the episode, Michelle spo

Number of children in school counselling halves with Covid-19 restrictions

New research finds that the average number of children and young people who spoke to a school counsellor dropped dramatically since Covid-19 restrictions came into place in March For more than 100,000 children and young people, school counselling provides them with a safe space to talk about things that are worrying them or causing them distress, as well as offering guidance through difficult times. But new research from the University of Roehampton and the British Association for Counselling

12 things you didn’t know could be symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety can affect us in so many different ways. How many of these symptoms did you know? According to the NHS, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) affects up to 5% of the UK population. GAD is defined as a consistent or recurring feeling of unease, worry, or fear. More generally, we all experience anxiety at points throughout our lives. This may be in relation to a specific activity, such as speaking in front of a crowd or attending a doctor’s appointment, or waves of anxiety might fall over u

Mindfulness tips for hot weather

Keep your cool with these soothing mindfulness tips for coping with hot weather The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and you’re flustered, fed-up, and ready for winter. Though we may miss it when it’s gone, there’s no denying that when temperatures skyrocket things start to get uncomfortable pretty quickly. We may find that that we’re more irritable and less able to deal with the daily challenges that come our way – or maybe the heat is weighing us down, leaving us feeling tired and sluggish.

Try the breathing technique that improves your concentration

If you’re struggling to stay focused, improve your concentration with this expert-recommended breathing technique Staying focused, it’s often easier said than done. We’re living in an age of distraction, with the collected wealth of human knowledge accessible in seconds via our smartphones, push-notifications lighting up our screens, and not to mention IRL distractions which seep into our concentration bubbles. Beyond that, when we’re having bad mental health days, our concentration can be one

Robert Douglas on fatherhood and Black Lives Matter

Blogger Robert Douglas's feed is full of family joys, mixed with important takes on the issues of today. Here, he speaks about Black fatherhood, everyday racism, and the power of the online community Hi Robert! What drew you to begin blogging your family life? I’d just joined Instagram in 2016, and I came across dad blogger Simon Hooper, ‘Father of Daughters’. I was following his journey, and I connected with more dads, but then I quickly realised that the space was predominantly white. There

1.69 million people referred to talking therapies last year

Latest report finds that the number of people being referred to talking therapies was up 5.7% from the previous year One in four people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives. And yet, despite its commonality, reaching out for help can often be a tricky first step. But according to this year’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme annual report, more people than before are accessing talking therapies and moving on with their recovery journeys

How to discover your identity

What makes us who we are? With help from a psychotherapist, we explore what happens when we lose our identity, and look at the ways we can get back in touch with the person we truly are We all fit into different ‘boxes’, capturing our relationships, our roles in the world, and our interests – and from these boxes, we start to build an idea of our characters. But when it comes to developing a healthy and strong sense of identity, box-ticking and labels can only take us so far, occasionally limit
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