There is no shortage of evidence-based strategies that can help to pull you out of that rut

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Even if you have not been diagnosed with a mental illness, day-to-day stresses can easily drain your life of fulfilment and contentment. There is no shortage of evidence-based strategies that can help to pull you out of that rut – the scientific field of so-called ‘positive psychology’ is now 20 years old and has provided countless techniques to boost your mood. But how do we find the time to apply them in our daily lives? Sandi Mann, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, offers one solution. Building on her experience as a clinical psychologist, she has some suggestions that might help. As she outlines in her book, Ten Minutes to Happiness, her programme takes the form of a daily journal, to be completed in six parts: 1. What experiences, however mundane, gave you pleasure? 2. What praise and feedback did you receive? 3. What were the moments of pure good fortune? 4. What were your achievements, however small? 5. What made you feel grateful? 6. How did you express kindness? Much of the programme builds on a vast amount of scientific research showing that taking a little time to reappraise your day in these ways can slowly shift your mindset so that you eventually find more happiness in your life. When we feel low, it can be easy to overlook the things that are going right – and keeping this journal brings them to the forefront of your attention.