wellbeingtop ten tips

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Wellbeing consists of three key factors.  Though separate, they inter-relate, and to have strong wellbeing the individual must have a healthy balance between the three – which are physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

To be physically ‘fit’ doesn’t require you to spend hours in the gym, or on a bike, or running round the local park.  All of these are fine, if that’s what you want to do.  But what’s much more important is to move – keep your body, muscles and joints moving – before they, and you, seize up.  In our early evolutionary life we were constantly on the move; now most of our life is sedentary – in chairs, in the car, on the sofa, in (a soft) bed.  We need to take action and move: every hour or more – get up, move; make a brew.  My own particular favourite: if I go supermarket shopping, I park my car in the bay that’s furthest from the main entrance….

We are surrounded by food that is relatively cheap, easy to access and eat, and…tasty!  So it is really difficult to find healthy food that’s affordable, convenient, and healthy, given our busy lifestyles.  But if we don’t, then it’s short term gain, long term pain, as we have an inbalance of food that not only may help us put on weight, but also increase key diseases like diabetes and even strokes and heart attacks.

The evidence is  now overwhelming: sleep deprivation is damaging.  We simply do not function as well, even if we fool ourselves into thinking we do.  Of course, mental and emotional wellbeing will contribute to how easy we find it to sleep – which is why all 3 factors clearly inter-relate.  So one piece of advice is to go to bed when you are naturally tired – and do things through the day that will help – such as exercise.

Your mental health, or well being, is essentially how our mind works, and particularly if it works for us or against us.  For example, do you engage in negative self talk?  Are you your own worst critic, scolding yourself via your inner voice?  Would you ever talk to anyone else, the way you talk to yourself, about yourself?  Are you being fair, or balanced?  Do you dismiss the positive feedback of others?  Do you decline invitations because you feel inadequate?  Give yourself a break…be kind to yourself; give yourself a GOOD talking to!

You are, or become, what you focus on.  And – seek and you will find.  Too often we take the good things in life for granted, don’t truly value or appreciate them – until they are gone.  Appreciate now, in the moment, not later in regret.

If we live a normal life, we are bound to be provoked.  A provocation is anything that happens to us that we’d rather didn’t.  Getting stuck in a traffic jam; ill health; redundancy….in a real sense, life – is – provocative.  What really matters is what we do with those provocations – our response.  Two people facing an identical provocation will react or respond differently.  And the outcome will be determined by the response, rather than the provocation.  So which are you – someone who’s provocation focused, and tends to blame those provocations for their life?  Or someone who is response focused, and determined to tackle all life’s difficulties in the best way they can…with the best response they can.

We live in, or are moving between, two states: reasonable and emotional.  The good news is that most of us, most of the time, are in a reasonable state.  But every now and then we may feel a ‘spike’ of emotion – good or bad.  Usually it is short lived – hence a ‘spike’.  But if that happens, then emotion hijacks reason.  We are simply no longer reasonable, when we are emotional (even though we think we are…).  If that’s the case, then the quickest way to help someone regain their ‘reasonable’ state is to let them vent, let them offload….

It’s ok to feel emotional – to be in touch with your humanity: we suffer, we hurt, we get anxious.  And some of that is really important as an early warning part of our life support system.  So it’s good to accept that we get emotional.  The trick is – not to wallow in it.  It can feel destructively good, comfortable, to give up, give in, and dive under the duvet.  And that, for a short while, might be just what’s needed.  But it isn’t a strategy for the rest of your life….

Surround yourself with an environment that makes you feel good.  That can include the physical environment, of course, but also your friendship environment.  All your friends should be good for you….

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We know it’s a faff
And a bit of a pain;
But it really helps us
Stay on top of our game…

We know it’s a faff
And a bit of a pain;
But it really helps us
Stay on top of our game…