Why do Brits ignore the secret of happiness?

A third of Brits confess to being unhappy with their lives. Yet there seems to be little excuse - as a nation we have identified the top three things that are central to happiness: family, good health and a close group of friends.

Despite knowing what makes us happy, a third of the UK admit to suffering from stress and anxiety. More than 1 in 5 people are beset by feelings of depression and the same proportion of us are plagued by digestive complaints, even though nine out of ten agree that diet and lifestyle can help alleviate stress. We're clearly not heeding our own advice.

So why aren't we helping ourselves? Sometimes it takes a major scare or event to change the way we live our lives. The birth of a child has been voted the number one trigger to make us reassess our lives, followed by the death of a parent or loved one.

Third on the list was a health scare, which has prompted almost a quarter of people to start exercising regularly, and one in five to radically change their diet, according to the research commissioned by Yakult's Little Book of Life.The change that most people made in this situation was taking things more steadily, and then making sure they pursue a better work/life balance.

It seems that it's one thing to know how to be happy, another to put that knowledge into practice. Here to tell us how to reconcile the two, and hopefully spread a little happiness into all our lives, is Life Coach Denise Mortimer, explains the contradiction. She said: "Whilst childhood might be the happiest, carefree time we can recall, our late teens and early twenties are generally packed with excitement and adventure, it's a rollercoaster time of life frequently providing our first taste of independence.

Though these experiences don't always make us happy, they do teach important lessons and help us create meaning in our lives. In addition to this, most people enjoy good health during these years."

For more information visit www.yakult.co.uk

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