Simple ways to improve mental wellbeing

Stress. Photo by Pixabay.
Stress. Photo by Pixabay.

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – it’s part of everyday life. But when you’re overwhelmed by stress it can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

Taking steps to look after your wellbeing can help you deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on your life.

Positive mental wellbeing can help us make a difference to the way we think, feel and react to life’s ups and downs.

Evidence suggests that there are five simple ways that we can take that can improve our mental wellbeing.

They are called the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and they are:

l Connect – if we feel close to another person and feel valued, then this can help with our mental wellbeing.

Try something different such as talking to someone new, asking how someone’s weekend was and taking time to really listen to their replies or spending lunchtime with a work colleague or friend.

l Be active – as well as helping maintain a healthy weight, physical activity makes us feel good. This isn’t about rushing to sign up to the gym or setting unrealistic goals, it’s about fitting physical activity into everyday life.

Simple things could include: taking the stairs not the lift, going for a stroll at lunchtime, ditch the TV for half an hour and take the kids to the park or go for a walk.

l Give – research has shown that carrying out an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period can lead to an increase in wellbeing.

A smile could be all that it takes, alternatively why not invite a neighbour round for a cup of tea, or you could look at volunteering in the community.

l Take notice – this is about being aware of the world around and savouring the moment which can help to reaffirm life’s priorities.

You can take a break from the ordinary routine – try a different lunch, clear the clutter, go out to a new place, or just take a couple of moments to notice what is going on around you.

l Keep learning – learning is not just for school or gaining qualifications.

Try cooking a new recipe, learn a new hobby, do a crossword, watch or read the news.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the chance to take part in work or educational activities particularly helps lift older people out of depression.

If we feel in a positive frame of mind, we are more likely to be able to make other small changes to improve our own health; such as thinking about what and how much we eat.

If you want to find out more information visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/wellbeing