23 tips for improving your mental health

Borrow a dog

In a new study, dog-owners were found to be more satisfied with life than non-pet owners, and that oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) was released by both human and dog when they interacted. If you can’t look after an animal full-time, create a free profile on the Borrow My Doggy app and browse till you meet the pet you’re looking for – just like Tinder. Sort of. Via borrowmydoggy.com

Do what makes you anxious

The more you avoid uncomfortable situations, the more they make you anxious. Set yourself a challenging environment, keeping track of your thoughts, and you’ll find it easier to rationalise your anxiety and realise it’s not as bad as you’d anticipated.

Brush your teeth mindfully

As advised in Mindfulness: A Practical Guide To Finding Peace In A Frantic World by Danny Penman and Mark Williams (Piatkus, £15), spending time to focus on a mundane activity allows you to appreciate the moment and clear your head. Try spending two minutes brushing your teeth, concentrating on the movement of your hand and the sensation in your mouth.

Keep a rescue box

Make a box of reassuring personal items that relate to positive memories – such as photographs, music or an inspiring letter from yourself – and turn to it during moments of distress, or make a loved one remember to give it to you.

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