Laughter / humour
Having a laugh can help people feel better, and, naturally, different people have different senses of humour, from making silly puns to being sarcastic.
A lot of people find that a shared sense of humour is something that bonds them or that learning what makes each other laugh brings them closer together. Whether it’s because of a funny story, memory, tv show, video or something completely random, laughing is known to lower blood pressure and release endorphins that help make you happy.
If you can, try to laugh or have a chuckle regularly, even if it’s just watching an animal video online, as this can give you a little boost you didn’t know you needed. Laughing with friends often feels good, but make sure it’s not at someone else’s expense or making someone else feel upset or excluded. If someone says the joke is upsetting them, it’s important to respect that.
Why not try creating your own comedy playlist on YouTube of videos that make you laugh? You could also find lots of comedy podcasts for free and there are even free comedy events across the UK you could attend with friends or family.
What young people have told us:
'If you are feeling anxious or having lots of negative thoughts and have no one to talk to at that time. Definitely try to cheer yourself up.'
'It helped me realise that there can be more to life than just sitting and moping around doing nothing. It actually releases endorphins that keep you happy.'
'It helped to distract me from my negative thoughts and cheer me up.'
There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.
If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.