What if you could take vitamins for your mind?
A 2008 UK study found was that only 14% of the UK population reported that they were feeling happy and thriving in life.
Science has identified at least six activities that are like vitamins, building your mind, your well being, your happiness:
1.Relationships and connecting with other people
- Connect – With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.
Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
2.Giving and volunteering in causes that are important to you
- Give – Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.
3.Being physically active each day
- Be active – Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
4.Practicing gratitude and enjoying the moments rather than looking ahead or behind
- Take notice – Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you
5.Taking on tasks or projects that are interesting and challenging
- Keep learning – Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favorite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.
- In fact, if you sit back and just let life pass by your happiness will also disappear down the stream. When we stop being curious, decide we have learned enough, or retire or are unemployed – our mental health and our well being declines – UNLESS – we practice activities like those listed in this article.
6.Practicing healthy self-care
- Care – for yourself. Do things that you like to do, that make you feel alive – even just a little. Do something every day for you.
I’m not your doctor but I suggest that you take one every day along with brushing, flossing and eating an apple… every day. You might not become wealthy, but you will enjoy the days that you have.
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Keep it Real
Source: Aked, Marks, Cordon, & Thompson (2008). 5 Ways to well-being: The evidence. The Economics Foundation.