The Psychological Society of Ireland



The Psychological Society of Ireland,
Floor 2, Grantham House,
Grantham Street, Dublin 8, D08 W8HD.



29th December 2013 - Press release

 Psychological Society of Ireland offers advice around New Year’s resolutions


The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) is offering advice for people to consider when making resolutions for the New Year. Setting resolutions and goals is a New Year’s tradition for many people. Some set goals that are unrealistic and unachievable, whilst others set goals that are not challenging enough for them to benefit from.


The PSI has devised 40 practical tips for mental health, well-being and prosperity, and hopes that people will consider the advice with New Year’s resolutions in mind. The 40 tips are available on the PSI website at Each tip is supported by at least one research finding that confirms that the tip can be helpful. The PSI aimed to make the tips practical and, where possible, to make them action based, giving people things that they can do to improve their mental well-being through interesting, challenging or even the most ordinary times.


The Society has selected a sample of the tips as follows:


The Basics

  • Look after your basic needs first: Eat and sleep.
    Before trying to tackle any of the complex demands of day-to-day life, it is vital to start with full energy levels. Feelings of tiredness and hunger can make many problems seem worse, so make sure to get the sleep you need and maintain a nutritious diet.
  • Happiness happens without money.
    Happiness is not related to income. Yet research has shown that people believe that money is important in order to be happy. Even if you would be happy to get some money, remember that we can achieve happiness without it too!
  • Get active.
    While physical activity (that suits you and your level of ability) is good for your body, exercise is good for the mind too. Regular exercise gives you energy, improves mood and relieves stress, anxiety and depression. Once you get into it, it can also be great fun!
  • Do what you love.
    Getting good at something doesn’t often come easy and people who become excellent at something aren't necessarily "gifted" at a young age. Expert performers such as soccer players, piano players, neurosurgeons and tennis players are nearly always made, not born. It’s practice that makes perfect. If you like something, you are more likely to work hard at it to get very good at it. When it comes to choosing what you would like to do with your life, choose something that you like.
  • Cut out the “fat talk.”
    Conversations around weight, appearance and pressure to be thin, result in increased body dissatisfaction. But it’s not that easy to avoid. This norm of fat talk keeps us believing all women feel poorly about their bodies. So speak out! Real friends don't let their friends fat talk!

Daily Routine (Home, School, Work)

  • Exercise your brain.
    The human brain is a wonderful organ. It contains 100 billion neurons, weighs only 3lbs and uses 20% of the body’s energy to function. Learning new things and a continuous curiosity keeps your brain working, generating new brain cells and new neural connections. Such mental stimulation keeps the brain fit and can prevent cognitive decline in older age.
  • Remember to remember.
    People often realise too late that they have forgotten to do something that they had meant to do and setting an alarm or leaving a 'post-it' is not always practical. You can increase your chances of remembering what to do by thinking about where and when you're going to do it. For example, you might think, "when I get home and sit down on the couch, I will pick up the phone and call my mother".
  • Remember work isn't everything.
    While work plays an important role, it’s important to get the work life balance right.  Employees who enjoy down time or relaxation outside of their job are more likely to recover their energies and be engaged when they are at work; that is, they have more energy available to them at work and they feel more dedicated to the task at hand. So a balanced approach to work is a win-win for you and your employer!
  • Volunteer.
    Doing something that helps others has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. Volunteering can bring about feelings of personal achievement, a sense of community spirit and solidarity. There is no limit to the individual and group volunteer opportunities you can explore. Schools, churches, non-profit, and charitable organisations of all sorts depend on volunteers for their survival.



  • Listen to what children have to say.
    Adults are inclined to think they know what’s best for children but it is important that children are included in the decisions that involve them. Being listened to, being heard and being given the opportunity to ask questions is important to children.  Research shows that empowering young people in this way provides them with psychological benefits.
  • Focus on your child’s inner strengths.
    Every child is different. Recognising and encouraging your child’s unique strengths can enhance their self-esteem and well-being.


Tough Times

  • Work on developing different ways to cope.
    People who actively develop different ways to cope with difficult things are happier. Talk to a friend, meditate, exercise!
  • Write things down.
    Keeping a diary or simply writing down a thought or problem can help problem solving. Writing things down helps you organise and formulate your situation and your thoughts. It also allows you to look at the situation as an outsider. You can re-write it, come back to it later or simply throw it away when you’re finished.
  • Simply getting together can be supportive.
    Having someone who you can be yourself with can be a major protective factor against depression. Men, who traditionally have difficulty seeking support, will naturally begin supporting each other if they are simply brought together on a regular basis.
  • Think about how you label events
    Is a puncture in your tyre really a disaster? Or is it a nuisance, inconvenient and annoying? How you think and talk about events can really influence your mood and the intensity of it.
  • Do something!
    If you're feeling down or blue, aim to DO. Do not rely on your mood or feelings to dictate your activities; do not wait until you "feel like it". The best thing when you are feeling down is to DO something!


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