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A Beginners Guide To Well being - It all starts with you

28 November 2018 |

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”  

Buddha

 

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term 'well being'?

Yoga? Meditation? Vegan diets and green smoothies and all that holistic health-related jazz? We know – there are a lot of differing ideas about what well being actually means. Let's take a deeper look behind the buzzword.

 

The World Health Organisation defines it as:

"Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community."

No pressure.

This is fine, everything is fine.
This is fine, everything is fine.


Let's make no mistakes here, well being is absolutely critical to the human experience and let me tell you, the answers aren't on google. Well being is not something you can attain, well being is something you are; it's a state of mind.

Well being is a journey that only you can navigate and this blog aims to support you along that journey.

Ignorance is bliss, knowledge is potential, application is power.
The real key to well being is learning to interpret your life experiences without judgement. We all understand that we can't control the things that happen to us but we can control how we react; that is your power! Your answers will not come externally. You have to look within for true well being to take place and I promise you it isn't as hard as you think. Actually, you had everything you needed before you read this blog! Everything you will ever need to have a happy life is within you already - nice work!

It really is that easy (and difficult) at the same time.

Life is an adventure, it's not a package tour.
Life is an adventure, it's not a package tour.


The Mental Health Charity, MIND, published the booklet, 'How to Improve Mental Well being' which says 'good mental health is about your behaviour - what you do'. It goes on to say that good mental health is when:

 

"You care about yourself and you care for yourself. You love yourself, not hate yourself. You look after your physical health – eat well, sleep well, exercise and enjoy yourself.

You see yourself as being a valuable person in your own right. You don't have to earn the right to exist. You exist, so you have the right to exist.


You judge yourself on reasonable standards. You don't set yourself impossible goals, such as 'I have to be perfect in everything I do', and then punish yourself when you don't reach those goals."

 

I absolutely love this description because it shines a light on how accountable we are for our own well being and how our internal dialogue dictates our behaviours. I know I have been guilty in the past of talking to myself in a way that I wouldn't dare dream of speaking to another person if they were in the same situation. Maybe you've been guilty of the same thing?

Learn to become accountable for your well being and observe your thoughts, feelings and the internal dialogue you play in your head. Learn to accept that well being comes from within and you posses everything you will ever need to be happy. Tell the voice inside your head to believe it. Learn to lean in and accept what is. Learn to reconnect and strive to be a human-being, not a human-doing.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.


Try these top tips to kick start your journey.

6 Ways to Well being:
    1. Connect
    2. Keep learning
    3. Be active
    4. Give
    5. Take notice
    6. Connect

There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting well being and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.

With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.

  • Talk to someone instead of sending an email
  • Speak to someone new
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
  • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
  • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.
  • Keep Learning

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of well being.

Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Find out something about your colleagues
  • Sign up for a class
  • Read the news or a book
  • Set up a book club
  • Do a crossword or Sudoku
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Learn a new word.
  • Image

 

Be Active:

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well being. But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.

Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs not the lift
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk into work - perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
  • Organise a work sporting activity
  • Have a kick-about in a local park
  • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning
  • Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.
  • Give

Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of well being research. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in well being.

 

Take notice:

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get a plant for your work space
  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
  • Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting
  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work
  • Visit a new place for lunch.

"The secret is you have to believe in yourself"

Charlie Chaplin