Well Being Focus for Families
5 Ways to promote postive wellbeing
Connecting with other people
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 wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:
- help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
- give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
- provide emotional support and allow you to support other
Being physically 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.
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
- raising your self-esteem
- helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
- causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood
Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:
Learning new skills
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 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 wellbeing.
Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
- boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
- helping you to build a sense of purpose
- helping you to connect with others
Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, or you may not need to learn new things, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life. Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:
Giving to others
Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing 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 wellbeing
Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by:
- creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
- giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
- helping you connect with other people
It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community. Check out some of our ideas on Giving to others:
Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.
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: