London: Mindapples is the name of a new five-day programme to help everyone feel cheerful by eating more fruit and vegetables. It requires you to think of mood-boosting activities and incorporate them into the daily routine.
These can be as simple as a walk in the park, helping a neighbour, reading a book or even relaxing in the bath.
One in four people will suffer from a mental health issue during their lifetime, the most common being anxiety and depression, the Telegraph reports.
Surprisingly, the man behind mindapples is not a qualified psychologist but an ordinary member of the public. Andy Gibson is a 33-year-old website consultant who had struggled with stress and exhaustion for several years when, in 2007, he devised a way to make himself feel better.
Analysing what was wrong with his life, Gibson wrote down the five activities he most enjoyed and set about incorporating them into his daily routine. Top of his list was to talk to friends or family every day.
He also realised that he needed more time in green space. Living in central London, he started to take detours through the city`s parks on his way to work. He compiled different playlists on his iPod to help him relax.
"I still had the same job and the same problems, but just by refocusing a little and making sure I made time for the things that were good for my mental health, I felt happier," says Gibson.
His five-a-day for-your-mind campaign was initially launched as a not-for-profit project in 2008, with the help of a small band of volunteers.
"I`d noticed people were happy to chat about going to the gym or taking their vitamins, but no one was discussing what was good for their mental health," says Gibson.
Mindapple trials will now take place in seven general practitioner surgeries in London and at the largest mental health training institution in the country, the Maudsley Hospital in south London, which offers specialist psychiatric services nationally.