With prolonged recession it's easy to find the daily grind getting you down. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Lynda Shaw shares her tips on how to stay positive.

  1. Sometimes at the end of the day make a note of all the things you have achieved, no matter how small.  We have a tendency to think only of the things that need to be done, which can feel overwhelming.  Be kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back for doing so well
  2. Learn to accept the past, view any negative experiences as history, there is nothing you can do to change them now. Learn from your mistakes so as to avoid repeating them
  3. Do not feel pressurized into situations you are uncomfortable with, or where you may be compromised – be assertive, stand up for yourself and trust yourself to be doing it for the right reasons
  4. Keep things simple, we have a tendency to overcomplicate issues, worrying unnecessarily and meandering off topic, try to keep everything in perspective
  5. Build on your strengths, identify situations you know you can excel in and apply yourself to these
  6. Strive to be ambitious, everybody needs goals in life so set yourself some, the bigger the better, but be sure to keep anything within the realms of possibility. It is always important to have things to look forward to, so keep yourself motivated and look ahead to all the future has to offer
  7. We spend more of our lives at work than at home, thus making it all the more important to enjoy what we do. If you are not enjoying your work then be proactive, speak to your manager and work out what your issues are and how they can be overcome. Don’t allow your work to bring you down - remember we work to live, not the other way round!
  8. Remember a healthy wellbeing contributes to a healthy mind and a more positively enthused outlook on life; maintaining a healthy balanced diet with plenty of water and foods rich in the omegas and vitamin B12 should help to keep you cheerful and motivated.
  9. Exercise regularly, this helps to keep your body and brain active, preventing ‘lulls’ and also helping to alleviate any stress. Yoga and Pilates are excellent if you are looking to unwind in a more tranquil environment. Alternatively if you are looking for something more energetic, go down to your local leisure centre and seek out a class to release some positive endorphins.
  10. The importance of a clear mind should not be underestimated, bottling up emotions is not healthy and will only lead to unnecessary stress! Whether you find a friend/colleague/family member or even use a diary, make sure you work through any issues you have
  11. Create a list of everything you have to be grateful for, visualizing these things will help you to appreciate how fortunate you are and make for a more optimistic take on life

Dr Lynda Shaw runs an advisory service for loved ones of those with dementia. Visit her website here.