The Six Habits of Healthy and Happy People

Cancer Council spokesperson Katie Clift shares six scientifically proven ways to feel happier and healthier in the here and now.

Are you able to ‘shake it off’ when faced with the stress of looming deadlines, relationship conflicts, family pressures, long work hours and burgeoning household chores?

If not, you’re perfectly normal. For many of us, the strains of daily life can quickly take their toll, causing anxiety and distress.

Learning new ways of managing stress can be useful for all of us, regardless of the life stage or the situation we find ourselves in.

Whether you’ve got five minutes to spare or want to build lasting habits – today we’re opening the textbook on six scientifically-backed ways to boost your happiness levels!

One, get your sweat on! Regular exercise can increase the serotonin in your brain, which helps to regulate mood, sleep, libido, and appetite, warding off depression. Exercise also stimulates endorphins, nature’s uppers, triggering a positive feeling in your body.

Two, meditate regularly. When you meditate, you learn to think more clearly, by letting go of the negative self-talk that can interfere with your judgement. Just 30 minutes of daily practice can build your self-awareness and reduce feelings of stress. And although it’s challenging to master, it’s worth the effort. Omen to that.

Three, perform an act of kindness. Kindness to others can make you feel great too, improving wellbeing by generating positive thoughts and nurturing meaningful interactions with those you care about. Even just small acts of benevolence can contribute to our greater good.

Four, enjoy a cup of tea. In many cultures, tea drinking is a sacred ritual, a daily moment for personal reflection and social connection. Scheduling positive affirmations in your day, even just a quiet cup of tea, can be instrumental in changing your perspective. Take the time to appreciate your special moments of joy and increase their effectiveness by lingering on them for longer, hardwiring positivity into your psyche.

Five, get outside! You don’t have to be Tarzan or Jane to feel the benefits of this one. A daily dose of nature can increase your sense of wellbeing, vitality and energy while reducing feelings of stress, negativity, and sleep disturbances. It can also make you feel more productive on the job, whatever it may be!

Six, sleep on it. Did you just yawn? Lack of sleep can hamper your happiness. The side-effects of insomnia can rudely intrude on your waking hours, affecting mood, concentration, memory and brain performance. Try to get at least six hours of quality zzzzzzs a night, and help meet your sleep quota by trying one of the five steps above.

Six simple strategies. We’re calling them The Six Habits of Healthy and Happy People. Try them today and banish stress from your life. The science almost guarantees that you’ll live longer and laugh louder.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or call Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

For interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171

For more information, please contact:
Eliarne Iezzi, Senior Media Advisor, Cancer Council Queensland Ph: (07) 3634 5153