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Almost 1 in 3 Brits turn to social media for a daily dose of positivity with animal content leaving us smiling the most

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Nearly one in three Brits turn to social media for a daily positivity boost (31%), with animal videos and memes (23%) and random acts of kindness posts (21%) the most smile-inducing content we view as a nation.

That’s according to a study of over 2,000 British adults by Sky Mobile, which found that over half of us (56%) love to use our smartphones to seek out uplifting content, and nearly half (45%) agree that when they view positive stories and inspiring posts online, it increases their mood for the day.

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The findings have prompted Sky Mobile to team up with Vanessa King, an expert on positive psychology, and board member at Action for Happiness, to explore Brits’ habits online and how they can use their phones to easily access cheerful content 24/7.

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Nearly a third of us turn to social media for a daily positivity boost according to a new survey (Image: Anna Shvets / Pexels.com)

#Positivity

Alongside animal content and random acts of kindness posts, other popular types of social media content that people view most include light-hearted ‘when things go wrong’ videos (16%) and travel or holiday pictures/videos (15%).

The nation also seeks comfort in the past to lift their mood too, with childhood TV clips (11%) and nostalgic British pop culture content (11%) both inspiring our sentimental sides and making the top ten.

People most commonly seek out positive content online by watching short funny clips or videos (30%) or memes (17%) and bolster their wellbeing by connecting with family and friends (29%) too.

“What we consume online impacts how we feel” comments Vanessa, “Even small positive mood boosts can make a difference. And these don’t just feel good, science shows these can add up – for example helping us be more open to others, more flexible in our thinking, better at creative problem solving.”

Memes are one of the ways people find their daily dose of positivity according to the research (Image: Shutterstock)

Positivity on the go

It’s no secret that Brits turn to their handsets several times a day for a quick check on the latest social media updates as part of their daily routines. And it’s the end of the day that proves to be the sweet spot, with bedtime (14%) being the most popular time to tune in for a positivity boost, followed by before getting up in the morning (10%).

People spend on average two hours each day seeking out positive content, increasing to almost four hours for those aged 16-24. While Gen Z will visit TikTok as their go-to for uplifting content (42%), the 55+ age bracket are more likely to head to Facebook (70%).

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When it comes to spreading the positivity, 19% will send posts to their friends or family directly or tag a friend (15%), doing so to make them laugh (43%) and spread the same mood boost they felt (30%).

Vanessa King adds: “Connecting constructively with people we care about and doing kind things for others are important for everyone’s happiness and wellbeing. Showing we are thinking of others and sharing positive content online that we think loved ones will enjoy or find uplifting contributes to this.”

It was further revealed that one in four scroll across different social media channels until they find something they’re interested in, compared to nearly 20% of people going to the same social media source they know will lift their mood. And it doesn’t stop there, with over a third (35%) admitting they would unfollow social media accounts which don’t lift their mood.

Commenting on the findings, Paul Sweeney, Managing Director, Sky Mobile, said: “With more than half of us using our phones daily to see positive and uplifting content, Sky Mobile is here to help you easily tap into your rolled over data to access the latest memes, humorous videos and more 24/7.”

“It’s important we’re aware of how social media impacts our mood and manage what we access. We of course need to keep in touch with what’s happening in the world around us, and it’s encouraging to see that Sky Mobile’s research shows that over half (52%) agree that listening to positive individuals on social media makes a difference to our psychological wellbeing,” 

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Vanessa concludes. “What’s great is that there are plenty of practical resources packed with ideas for happier living, such as those freely available from Action for Happiness, to help people boost psychological wellbeing.”

The top 10 things that make us smile or give us a positive mood boost when on social media include:

  1. Animal videos/memes (23%)
  2. Random acts of kindness posts (21%)
  3. Light-hearted ‘when things go wrong’ videos (16%)
  4. Travel or holiday pictures/videos (15%)
  5. Cute/funny baby videos (14%)
  6. Comedians sharing snippets of content (13%)
  7. Food pictures/videos (12%)
  8. Childhood TV clips (11%)
  9. Inspiring or motivational quotes or mantras (11%)
  10. Nostalgic British pop culture content (11%)

(Lead image: Ilargian Faus / Pexels.com)

Lifestyle

The rise of self-trolling: new survey reveals Brits are their own biggest critics, saying more than 1,000 self-deprecating comments each year

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A study of 2,000 Brits found more than a fifth are their own biggest critic – especially when it comes to the way we look.

As a nation we struggle with our self-confidence, with the average adult saying more than 1,000 negative things about themselves each year.

From our hair to weight, new research from Tu Clothing has revealed that more than a fifth (21 per cent) of Brits are their own biggest critic, with 27 per cent admitting they wouldn’t dream of saying some of the things they say about themselves to others.

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A typical day sees the average man say or think three negative things about themselves – 1,095 times a year – while women do so four times a day, amounting to 1,460 insults a year.

Wardrobe blues

Our style is another area we’re very hard on ourselves about, with more than a fifth of adults (23 per cent) admitting they generally struggle to find clothes they feel comfortable in and the same amount again (23 per cent) admitting they care too much about what others think of them.

In terms of being bold with colour, the nation likes to play it safe with black being the most confidence-inducing colour to wear, followed closely by blue and grey. Only 21 per cent feel comfortable wearing yellow, and just 19 per cent would dare to wear orange.

Yet Brits’ outward appearance doesn’t always match their inner feelings, with a fifth (21 per cent) wishing they could channel their childhood freedom to chuck on what feels good.
Tu Clothing has teamed up with actress, TV presenter and mum of three Zoe Hardman to encourage the nation to dress for joy and embrace their inner child this summer.

Zoe Hardman said: “With summer approaching, many of us get nervous about getting body parts out that are hidden the rest of the year including stomachs, thighs and upper arms. We can also have those days when we lack confidence, especially when it comes to the clothes that we wear, which is why this summer I want everyone to tap into their inner child and adopt a carefree attitude when it comes to getting dressed. Kids love to wear what makes them feel great and don’t give a second thought to other people’s opinions.

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“I want to help encourage the nation to embrace their own unique style, care less about what others think and have fun putting outfits together. Summer is a great time to embrace bold colours and patterns which increase both positivity and confidence.”

Bold is beautiful

Tu has also teamed up with Sarah Powell, self-celebration expert and motivational speaker, to encourage the nation to embrace their inner child and dress in brighter, bolder colours this summer.

Sarah Powell said: “I love that kids wear whatever they want, whenever they want. A tulle skirt over wellies? Sure. Jelly shoes with green socks in November? Perfect. Kids don’t get bogged down with ‘what should I wear?’ or ‘what’s the weather doing?’ or all of those things which keep us dressing for practical, sensible reasons rather than dressing for joy.

“Lots of us have a playful side, and it means different things to different people. Your inner child is there and they are wearing something wonderful, so spend a little time and think ‘what would I wear if I didn’t care? What would I wear if it was just about making me feel good?’ That’s the attitude I want us all to have this summer.”

Emma Benjafield, Director of Product at Tu Clothing, said: “I’ve been really looking forward to making the most of this summer and there’s no better time to embrace your body and wear colours, prints and patterns. We want to encourage people of all ages to simply have fun with dressing up, to not be afraid to wear what they want, not to worry what others think.

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“The survey results show people think they’re ‘too old’ for certain clothing items but we want to change this myth – everyone should wear what they want, how they want and when they want. Fashion, after all, should be fun and make you feel good!”

Lead image: Tu Summer Clothing launch with Zoe Haardman and her family. (Image: Tu Clothing)

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Business

Aldi retains title of ‘UK’s cheapest supermarket’

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As Brits continue to look for ways to cut household costs, consumer group Which? has yet again named Aldi as the cheapest UK supermarket.

With savings of £12.62 compared to the average Big Four basket, Aldi says its shoppers can be confident they’re getting the best deal.

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Which? conducted its monthly Cheapest Supermarket price comparison and looked at the cost of a basket of 47 items, including groceries and household essentials, with Aldi coming in cheapest at just £74.23.

The same shopping cost a whopping £16.91 more at Morrisons and £12.54 more at Tesco.

The independent consumer group’s research also found Aldi to be a massive £25.23 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose, for an equivalent basket of items.

The full results of the research are as follows:

RankRetailerAverage £
1Aldi74.23
2Lidl75.61
3Asda83.22
4Sainsbury’s86.27
5Tesco86.77
6Morrisons91.14
7Ocado95.33
8Waitrose99.46

Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “We know that across the nation many families are finding things tough due to the cost of living crisis. At Aldi, we’re determined to help by keeping costs low and quality high for our customers. We’re thrilled to yet again be named the UK’s cheapest supermarket.”

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(Lead image: Aldi)

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Carmarthenshire

Rare ‘Handkerchief Tree’ planted at Aberglasney to celebrate Platinum Jubilee

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To celebrate HRH The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Aberglasney Gardens has planted a rare Handkerchief Tree to commemorate the occasion.  

The Handkerchief (Davidia involucrata) tree is the first of its kind in the Gardens. It is a rare but highly sought-after tree, native to China. Also called the dove tree, it’s named after its beautiful white, flower-like bracts, which appear to flutter, like doves or handkerchiefs, in the slightest breeze. 

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According to Chinese legend, the handkerchief tree is the most romantic tree in China. It was introduced to the UK in the late 19th Century, by the famous plant collector named Ernest Wilson. He brought seeds back to the UK and his first tree flowered in 1906. 

Aberglasney’s Platinum Jubilee commemorative tree will be added to the Queen’s Green Canopy map, which is a digital record of the Jubilee tree planting projects across the United Kingdom.

Her Majesty and The Prince of Wales planted the first Jubilee tree in the grounds of Windsor Castle in March to mark the launch of the Queen’s Green Canopy.

With a focus on planting sustainably, the Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative encourages the planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations.  

Jim Stribling, Aberglasney’s Director of Operations, said, “The ethos of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative is perfectly in line with our views on planting here at Aberglasney. We choose additions to these established areas carefully. We feel the unique beauty of the handkerchief tree marks the special occasion that is the Platinum Jubilee as well as offering visitors to the Gardens an opportunity to see a rare species when they visit.” 

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Aberglasney’s Board of Trustees retiring Chairman, Peter Burgess, and newly elected Chairman, Phil Ratcliffe, helped the team of gardeners plant the tree. Helen Scutt, member of the Board of Trustees, as well as a well-known local garden designer and landscaper, chose the tree. 

Aberglasney’s woodlands were probably planted in the early 1800s, when improving landowners replenished the timber stocks of the estate.

The Jubilee Woodland Garden’s bog-like conditions mean ferns, gunneras, hostas and large-leaved bog plants thrive. The Pigeon House Wood is enclosed with ancient hedge banks and is carpeted in spring with bluebells, orchids, ramsons and wood anemones.  

(Lead image: Aberglasney Gardens)

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