Ultimately wellbeing is having the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual. It is a set of actions you take to maintain good, happy feelings and the more you do, the more you benefit. Here we uncover the five seeds to plant to experience wellbeing:
- Be Active – your body requires attention. It is to be handled with care, respected and given time for fine-tuning. Physical activity helps you maintain mobility, flexibility, endurance and strength and in turn enables you to move around with greater ease, enjoying a healthy lifestyle, having the energy to achieve your goals, explore life and manage challenges.
Action: We are built to ‘work out’. Not only does it help you maintain your mobility, flexibility and build strength, it also teaches you how to rise to a challenge. Find physical activities that you enjoy and plan them into your daily life. Don’t leave this to chance, be pro-active and develop a habit of Self-care, whether it’s taking walks, jogging, sports specific (netball, tennis, boxing, etc) or gym based. It’s all about finding what works for you, so test different things out, have variety and enjoy!
- Be Connected – your network is crucial to your wellbeing. Having people who love you, support you, listen to you and question you, keep you engaged, mentally stimulated and emotionally balanced. The positive vibes from others add to your own, raising the vibrational level from which you operate, drawing more amazing people into your life.
Action: Human beings are social animals and one of our basic human needs is to have a sense of belonging and self-worth. Making a concerted effort to build a network of connections is crucial; make time for conversations, join social groups that align with your interests & values and develop meaningful relationships with family & encouraging people, people who want to see you happy, healthy and able. If family ties are not strong, then look to extend your friendship circles, building layers of friends from your VIP inner circle outwards to other circles such as social friends and acquaintances.
- Be Aware – your ability to stay engaged in the now keeps you grounded, stops you living in the past or yearning for the future in a detrimental way. Awareness increases your self-knowledge, keeping you in touch with your current thoughts and feelings. Learn to savour each moment, letting each one wrap around you, comforting you, alerting you, ensuring you notice more of what your life is.
Action: Training yourself to be present, in this moment, slows down the otherwise overworked mind that if left unchecked, pulls you back into the past and stretches you into the future, but not always in a positive way, hence it increases feelings of disappointment, sadness, worry and concern. Being able to focus on the current moment and raising your self-awareness can help you calm the mind. Acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, your physical body and environment without judgement. Take it in as is, paying attention to what is going on but not attempting to fix or change anything. It’s like stepping outside of you to get a better view of you. From this stance, you are more likely to see what situations are causing certain emotions to rise as well as acknowledge what truly matters here and now. These moments of mindfulness can lead to moments of reflection where you question yourself more deeply;
- Are you magnifying something that hasn’t even occurred?
- Are you expecting an outcome based on something that happened years ago yet has no real connection to the present situation?
- Are you noticing the daily moments of joy or constantly battling with what ifs?
Being able to see things with more clarity and in perspective allows you to manage self and emotions more effectively, letting go of what is not real or in your control and expressing gratitude for what is good in your life and putting energy into dealing with what you can control.
- Keep Learning – your mind requires stimulation and is built to absorb information, taking it and creating other thoughts through the combination of your life experiences, developing your mind-map, affecting how you experience life. Open your mind to the possibilities that exist, the seen and unseen, so that you can become more of who you are destined to be, unlocking your potential.
Action: Continuous learning aids mental wellbeing. It’s like a gym workout for the brain, stimulating it, growing neural pathways and helping to create a broader understanding of self, others and life in general. Find subjects that interest you, that align with your passions, that support you in increasing work opportunities and that bring meaning to your life. When you do this, the experience of learning becomes joyful (especially true if you relate learning to school and have tainted memories relating to it). Remember, you can learn anything, whether you have previous experience in it or not. Check put learning opportunities at Coursera and personal development at YvonneB’s Women Rocking Confidence Online Academy.
- Keep Giving – some of your greatest life moments will come from what you do for others, how you help them live better lives. Paying it forward allows you to share all that you know, all that you have and all that you are. As you fill yourself up with good health, learning, being in the now, and associating with good people, so you can help others do the same, causing a ripple effect of far-reaching kindness and love…
Action: Giving to others is one of the most satisfying and enjoyable things we get to do in life. Finding ways to contribute, to serve, keeps you connected. Whether you choose to volunteer in your local community sharing your knowledge, expertise & skills or contribute to charities & causes that matter to you, you’re adding value and making a difference. Give someone a compliment, help someone with their shopping, check in on an elderly neighbour; they all count! Helping others gives you a sense of purpose and increases self-worth.
The five seeds to plant to experience wellbeing – use them daily!