Wellbeing is important to us all. Wellbeing can be affected by all manner of different things, for example, diet and lifestyle, workplace pressures and personal relationships. The New Economics Foundation (NEF), an independent think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice, has done extensive research into wellbeing.
It has found that feeling good consists of experiencing positive emotions such as happiness, contentment and enjoyment, as well as feelings of curiosity, engagement and safety. Positive mental wellbeing is not necessarily the absence of negative emotions. People with high levels of wellbeing will still experience feelings of sadness, anger and stress, but are likely to be better able to cope with these without a significant impact on their mental health.
Take a look at our Wellbeing fact sheet for further information about ways to wellbeing, building resilience and dealing with challenges.
Adopting a healthy diet
Healthy eating is one of the factors that contribute to our wellbeing, but what constitutes a healthy diet? The modern, fast paced life has led to us eating more convenience foods and take away meals than ever before. These types of food have a tendency to contain a lot of sugar, salt, saturated fat, toxins and chemicals. If we eat a lot of processed food our bodies can become nutritionally starved of essential vitamins and minerals, leaving us feeling sluggish and lacking in energy. Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive, it just takes a bit of planning.
Take a look at our Healthy Eating fact sheet for some tips on planning a balanced diet, recipe ideas and government recommendations on sugar and salt intake.
There are many benefits to an active lifestyle, but not everyone knows some of the not so obvious perks of an active lifestyle. Being regularly physically active really can make a huge difference to your happiness and wellbeing. It may also help you feel better about your appearance, boost your confidence, improve your self-esteem, energy and sleep as well as reduce your risk of stress and depression.
According to the NHS people can reduce their risk of major illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke by up to 50% if they follow a recommended minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week (that’s 30 minutes, 5 days a week).
Take a look at our Exercise fact sheet for further information on useful exercise habits, tips for adopting a sensible exercise plan and suggestions for groups that you can join.
It can be easy to rush through life without noticing what is going on. Stressful lives often lead to living on ‘automatic pilot’. When this becomes a habitual state, it can be associated with a number of stress related health problems. Being more aware of the present moment can help people to enjoy the world around them and to develop a better understanding of themselves.
According to the NHS, studies have found that mindfulness programmes, where participants are taught mindfulness practices across a series of weeks, can bring about reductions in stress and improvements in mood. In short, everybody can benefit physically, emotionally and mentally from learning mindfulness techniques. It can contribute to greater peace of mind, better sleep and more productivity at work as well as to feeling happier or to having better relationships with others.
As you begin to practice things in a mindful way you will feel calmer and more relaxed, and will have a greater concept of your surroundings and feelings.
Take a look at our Mindfulness fact sheet for some tips on how to practice mindfulness and stress management.
Get more sleep
Sleep is essential to the maintenance of physical and psychological health. We all know how difficult life can be when we’re not sleeping well. Poor sleep can have a negative impact on your energy levels, mood, performance and enjoyment of life. So it’s worth taking a few minutes to think about how you might be able to improve your quality and quantity of sleep.
Have a look at our Sleep matters article for our top tips on beating insomnia, or for further information on sleep disorders and a range of other sleep related topics, such as finding sleep clinics and accessing nodcasts, see our newly updated Sleep fact sheet.