Mental Health

We are delighted to announce that mental health expert Dr Happy has joined our Healthy Advice Blog to provide weekly articles crammed full of positive psychology, mental health information and more.

Dr Happy holds three degrees in psychology (including a Ph.D.) and an impressive record as an academic, clinician and coach.

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Articles 1 to 10 of 14
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

As we say goodbye to the heat of summer, and begin to ease in to the colder and darker months of winter, some of you might be wondering why your mood is lower or why, in the past, you’ve felt sad and/or lethargic during this time of year. According to our resident mental health blogger, Dr. Happy, "The answer might be that you’ve had Seasonal Affective Disorder (otherwise known by its strangely descriptive acronym, SAD) this, in very simple terms, is a form of depression. More specifically, it’s a form of depression that’s related to seasonal changes.The reality is, that in Australia where our seasons are not really that extreme, there’s limited evidence for SAD. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt some people experience lower moods through the winter months" In this article, Dr. Happy describes the signs and symptoms to look out for and provides the best strategies you can follow to help improve your mood. 

Category: Mental Health
How Your Pet Can Improve Your Mental Health

We're pretty sure that every pet owner will tell you that their pets make their lives better, but did you know that owning a pet actually comes with heaps of health benefits as well? According to mental health professional, Dr. Happy, "Flourishing and thriving in life require having a sense of meaning and purpose, being reasonably healthy physically, feeling connected to others and having fun. On the other hand, a few of the more significant contributors to mental ill-health are being sick and tired, and feeling lonely and isolated. Interestingly, owning a pet can address all these issues in a positive way." In this article, Dr. Happy focuses on how having a pet can boost our happiness and wellbeing. 
Category: Mental Health
World Health Day focuses on Depression – what can YOU do to improve your mood?

Did you know that today is World Health Day? This year the World Health Organisation have determined that the focus of this fantastic initiative will be on depression. According to mental health expert Dr. Happy, "Latest estimates state that more than 300 million people are currently living with depression, an increase of almost 20% since 2005. Due to factors such as stigma and lack of support, many of these people are quite simply not getting the help they need to live healthy and productive lives." With these alarming statistics, we caught up with Dr. Happy to get his advice on a simple, practical strategy that we can apply (or help someone you love to apply) improve our moods, our lives and our overall mental health.
Category: Mental Health
Exercise – Why It’s So Much More than “Physical” and How It’s Good for Your Mental Health

Did you know that exercise is one of the most commonly used and one of the most effective “stress busters” and antidepressants there is, as well as being one of the simplest, cheapest and most powerful happiness boosters! According to mental health professional, Dr. Happy, "Happy people tend to be healthier, they get sick less often and if they do get sick they recover more quickly; controlling for other variables happy people actually live longer! So, it’s generally not all that hard to convince people that exercise is good for them but given this, it’s disappointing when we look at the research and see how few people do it often enough." With this in mind, we chatted to Dr. Happy to get his top tips that will enhance your motivation and help you get moving and get happy.

Category: Mental Health
Mindful Parenting - How You Can Help Your Kids Thrive

How can we help our kids thrive? According to Dr. Happy, "The answer is “non-judgemental observation”. That is, observing phenomena (like thoughts and feelings) with curiosity but without labelling as either good or bad. This type of mindful parenting gives us the opportunity to respond more calmly; more positively; with the best interests of all involved given more weight. It puts space between a particular action and a parents reaction, enabling us to feel more in control and to act in a more considered manner." So how do we put this into practice? Check out this article to read Dr. Happy's top five tips.

Category: Mental Health
Why Sleep is Vital for Your Mental Health, Happiness and Success

Why are zzz’s so important for your overall health? According to Psychologist Dr. Happy, “The average Australian sleeps one hour less each night than what they need - this sort of sleep deprivation is a massive problem. Why? Well, lack of sleep doesn’t just lead to tiredness; it has also been found to be associated with impaired cognitive functioning (thinking), difficulty concentrating and remembering, poorer decision-making, moodiness and relationship problems, increased risk of cardiovascular problems and even weight gain." The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to ensure you get good quality sleep that will improve your physical and mental health. In this article, Dr. Happy provides his top 10 tips to get a better nights sleep. 

Category: Mental Health
Dealing With Loneliness

Loneliness - what exactly is it? According to Dr Happy, "It is one of the most significant contributors to poor health and disability. Unfortunately, it is on the rise and the remedy is not as simple as finding more friends or spending more time with others. In this article, Dr. Happy offers his advice on how to deal with loneliness and the importance of appreciating the loved ones in our lives. 

Category: Mental Health
The Healing Power of Hugs

Could a hug a day keep the doctor away? According to psychologist and mental health blogger, Dr. Happy, "Research has shown that hugs cause us to feel “warm and fuzzy” inside as well as more socially connected. Hugs, and physical contact more generally, improve the intimacy of our close relationships and they’re even beneficial for our social relationships too. They lower blood pressure and some studies suggest they might even alleviate fears and anxieties. Physical contact with a loved one has also been found to slow heart rates and reduce stress." In this article, Dr. Happy discusses the healing power of hugs. 

Category: Mental Health
Do New Year’s Resolutions Make You Anxious? Here’s What You Can do About it!

It’s almost a new year and with it come the New Year’s resolutions. According to mental health expert Dr. Happy, "If you’re feeling anxious and stressed about your New Year’s Resolutions then something’s not quite right; and if something’s not quite right, you’re not as likely to be motivated to do what you need to do to achieve your goals.  Resolutions, which is really just another way of describing goals, should be exciting and stimulating; they should stretch you and motivate you to achieve and to be more. But they shouldn’t cause excessive amounts of stress or anxiety." We caught up with Dr. Happy to get his advice on how to set achievable goals which will help motivate and inspire you. 

Category: Mental Health
10 Things You Can do to Help a Friend With Anxiety Over Christmas

Do you have a friend or relative who suffers from anxiety? According to Mental Health Advisor Dr. Happy, "The Festive Season is, for many, a time of joy and happiness. But the Festive Season is also, for some, a stressful period during which unpleasant emotions such as depression, loneliness, stress and anxiety can become exaggerated and troublesome."  With this in mind, we caught up with Dr. Happy to get his top 10 tips for helping a friend with anxiety this Christmas. We hope you find them useful! 

Category: Mental Health
Articles 1 to 10 of 14