Simple Changes To Boost Your Wellbeing And Happiness
Well-being is defined as a state of comfort, happiness, and health. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of people are reporting that their mental and emotional health is far from perfect. More and more of us are seeking help for depression and anxiety, and are struggling to cope with the realities of the modern world. Fortunately, there are simple changes you can make to boost your sense of well-being and live a calmer and happier life.
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As comfort is a big part of our sense of mental and physical wellness, it’s important to take into account any external factors that are creating a negative impact on our lives. Psychologist, Abraham Harold Maslow created a Hierarchy of Needs in 1943. His theory outlined that people need to fulfill a number of basic steps or ‘needs’ before reaching what he termed ‘self-actualization’. The first step refers to physiological needs which include food, water, warmth and rest. It stands to reason that if these basic needs are not met, they can have a negative impact on our lives.
This will have a different relevance to different people. But on a simple level, it reminds us to look at these factors when assessing our well-being. For example, if we lose our job and income we may fear that we will lose our home. Until this is resolved, we’re unlikely to feel safe and happy again. There may be external factors impacting our life such as difficulty sleeping, inadequate heating or temperature control, etc. Some of these can be resolved by simply replacing a window or attending to our heating system. Taking steps to create a safe, warm and secure living environment is the first step to living a better life.
Aesthetics also comes into this as research shows that our immediate environment impacts on our mental health. So, decluttering, changing the décor or moving furniture around may have a positive impact.
Apart from sleeping, the majority of our time is spent at work. Therefore, if this part of our lives is less than satisfactory, it’s no wonder it can affect us in a negative way. When discussing the subject of work stress, people often cite the following problems:
- Insufficient salary to meet basic needs
- Feeling of not being valued
- Being micro-managed
- Problems with co-workers
- Stressful daily commute
- Hours are too long
- Not enough breaks
- Difficulty in establishing a work/life balance
The solution to these issues depends on the specific problem. General steps you can take include:
- Discussing salary with your boss or retraining to find a better-paid job
- Minimizing contact with difficult people or finding strategies to deal with them
- Suggesting working remotely from home on some days of the week
- Taking regular breaks to stretch, walk around and clear your head
- Establishing firm barriers regarding working hours
Often feelings of worry and anxiety come from within us. They may be caused by being overly tired, unhelpful thoughts, dwelling on issues, etc. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address this. For example:
- Embarking on yoga or meditation that addresses the mind and body
- Recognizing stress triggers
- Learning new strategies to process and deal with unhelpful thoughts
- Getting enough sleep each night
- Enlisting the help of a therapist
There are several steps you can take to create a happier and healthier life, inside and out. This includes addressing external/environmental factors, work problems, and internal issues. This may not be enough, and in those cases, it’s always advisable to seek medical help. But, these strategies can be helpful and provide boost to your overall well-being.
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