27 Nov Tips for Mental Well-Being and Healthy Living
Feeling happy is a part of mental well-being. But it’s far from the only thing that determines the whole thing. It’s just one piece of the jigsaw puzzle which, upon completion, is the splitting image of the level of your mental well being. Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental well-being. Self-esteem and self-confidence are equally important. So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. So are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.
Of course, good mental well-being does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult, but it does mean that you feel that you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual. It can help to think about “being well” as something you do, rather than something you are. The more you put in, the more you are likely to get out.
No-one can give well being to you. It’s you who has to take action. Below are five things that, according to research, can really help to boost our mental wellbeing:
- Connect – connect with the people around you: family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. Spend time developing these relationships.
- Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
- Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?
- Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community center, can improve your mental well-being and help you build new social networks.
- Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.
When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience those things that we have been taking for granted.
Mindfulness also allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience, and to see how we can become entangled in that stream in ways that are not helpful.
This lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns. Gradually, we can train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realize that thoughts are simply ‘mental events’ that do not have to control us.
Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask: Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?
Awareness of this kind also helps us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier and helps us deal with them better.