I’m a psychologist – here’s 3 ways to actually look forward to Mondays (yes, really) | The Sun

WE'VE all felt it… that overwhelming feeling of dread that creeps up on you as Sunday afternoon rolls on.

The thought of having to return to your desk in a matter of hours is often dubbed the 'Sunday scaries'.

But despite the light hearted name, it's not something to brush aside.

The common feeling is actually considered to be a form of anticipatory anxiety – an overwhelming feeling of dread about something that is due to happen.

Research commissioned by The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) last year, found over two thirds of Brits experience anxiety on a Sunday. 

Here we talk you through some ways to rewire your brain and ultimately alleviate the horrid feeling.

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1. Write your worries down

If you regularly get hit by a case of the Sunday scaries but have no idea what’s causing them, take 20 minutes to write down your deepest thoughts and feelings. 

According to Jolanta Burke, a psychologist at the Centre for Positive Psychology in Ireland, we tend to overexaggerate our anxieties in our heads.

"This simple exercise can help you figure out what causes your anxious thoughts, which will ultimately help you address them", she told CNN.

"Writing these down on paper we can often see these fears are unfounded."

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If you find it difficult to talk or write about yourself, imagine you’re writing with a specific audience in mind, such as your friend.

This may help you better express what you’re feeling and understand why you’re feeling that way.

And if writing isn’t for you, use a recorder or video to help you express yourself.

2. Have a routine

One way to adjust to post-weekend change is introducing routines that last the whole week.

You may think that sounds boring, but studies have shown our brains respond well to structure, routine and predictability.

Not only does routine make us happier and give our lives meaning, but it can also reduce feelings of anxiety, Dr Cristina Reschke, a lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, in Ireland, said.

Our routines may include anything, from going to the gym, gardening to calling a parent.

"Routines improve our sense of coherence, a process that allows us to make sense of the jigsaw of life events," Dr Cristina wrote in The Conversation.

3. Exercise

We all know that exercise has both physical and mental benefits, which research showing us that it produces endorphins helping us feel good. 

Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, US, said: "Movement is a natural antidepressant."

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"Be sure to schedule some exercise every Sunday to help boost the feel-good chemicals in your brain," she said.

But this doesn't mean you have to do a HITT workout – a simple walk will also help release those all important happy hormones.

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