Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Simple approaches to wellbeing

In the October edition of In Touch, the newsletter put out by the Mental Health Foundation of NZ, five ways to improve your wellbeing were noted. Wellbeing and wellness are much of our focus here at National Mission, and so I'm passing on these five points (with a few of my own comments in brackets).

They begin by saying that wellbeing is a state of feeling good and functioning well. The five ways to wellbeing - all simple, straightforward approaches - are as follows:

1. Connect: develop your relationships with friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. These connections support you and enrich your life. [Tapu Misa wrote about this aspect of health in one of her recent columns.]

2. Give: do something for a friend or stranger and see yourself and your happiness as linked to the wider community. [Think of the 'Pay it Forward' approach]

3. Take notice: be aware of the world around you and see the beauty in [both] everyday and unusual things - reflecting on them helps you appreciate what matters to you. [Note the word reflecting: taking notice takes time.]

4. Learn: try something new or rediscover an old interest, or take on a new responsibility or challenge. Learning makes you more confident and can be fun.

5. Be active: physical activity helps you to feel good so find something that you enjoy and that suits your personality. [The biggest difficulty with this is that when you feel down, it's hard to get moving in physical activity, even something as simple as going for a walk. Having someone else to do the activity with you makes a huge difference. The same applies to point 4.]

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