Great Britain

Emoji mood of the nation

With 72% of Brits aged 18-25 finding it easier to communicate in emoji than text, emoji is now the most popular and fastest growing language in the UK.

With this in mind, we’re on a mission to capture the emotions and feelings of the nation through emojis this bank holiday weekend. To track our mood over the bank holiday, we’ve launched an innovative interactive tool. This is the first of its kind in the UK to map, in real time, the nation’s reactions by monitoring emoji use on Twitter over the bank holiday as it unfolds.

So give it a try and share with your friends – and don’t forget to check back here on Tuesday for the full results!


Does being 😃 make you healthier?

Having a fun weekend is one thing, but did you know that there’s a close relationship between how healthy you are, and how happy you are? Nobody’s suggesting that you can banish a head cold by putting a huge grin on your face, but there’s plenty of evidence that feeling positive emotionally doesn’t just make you nicer to be around, but is good for your health in general.

This applies even to pretty serious conditions. The American Psychological Study reviewed 200 medical studies in 2012, and they found that there’s a strong case for people who were more optimistic and satisfied with their lives have a lower risk of even heart disease.

And that’s not all that scientists have found: let’s take a look…

The Scientific bit…

Doctors have worked out how being happier and having an optimistic outlook could make some of us healthier, or at least less likely to fall ill. Brilliantly, they’re all things you’d want to do on a bank holiday weekend (and maybe even tweet about), like having strong ties to your friends and family, and doing activities you can lose yourself in, like sport or playing music. Researchers at Harvard University found a simple connection – stress can make you unhappy, and long-term unhappiness is more than a psychological situation. It has a physical impact on your body.

heart disease

Living the good life?

Doesn’t this just mean that happier people are more likely to live cleaner lives? That’s a factor, but in 2011 a major study by the University of York in Italy found happiness and good health were ‘strongly correlated.’ This was after they’d adjusted for diet and lifestyle – and other research has found this applies everywhere in the world, regardless of whether they have access to modern medicine or not.

Prevention or cure?

There’s still a lot we don’t know – just painting a smile on your face isn’t your fast-track to health. Being happy doesn’t directly make you healthier, but one does tend to come with the other. It won’t cure you of anything, it can work in tandem with a healthy lifestyle to help decrease the likelihood of your health taking a hit.

Many of the actions that make you feel perkier – such as eating healthily, keeping fit (which keeps the endorphins and the hormone serotonin flowing – they’re the body’s stress-busters), and getting plenty of sleep – are what can lead to us leading longer, healthier lives. You could say that happiness is the body rewarding us for treating it well.

If you’re feeling a little in need of a tune up then use our guide hub to keep you and your family protected.

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