In celebration of AAA’s fifth anniversary why not trying to make one simple change from each category this week:
There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a cornerstone of life and one that contributes to living well in the world.
Social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for helping to prevent against mental ill health for people of all ages.
With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.
- Talk to someone instead of sending an email
- Ask how someone’s weekend was and really hear what they tell you
- Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
- Take proper time away from your desk at lunch and go out with a colleague instead
Regular physical activity is associated with a greater sense of well-being and lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.
It doesn’t have to be an intense workout to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing exercise.
Here are some simple changes you can make to release those endorphins:
- Take the stairs not the lift
- Go for a walk at lunchtime
- Walk into work – perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well
- Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
- Do some simple stretches first thing in the morning to set you up for the day ahead.
This is about being curious, noticing the beautiful and savouring the moment. It is about being aware of the world around and what you’re feeling, reflecting on experiences to self-actualise and consider what’s important. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:
- Get a plant for your workspace
- Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
- Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting
- Take a different route on your journey to or from work
- Embrace the weather – whatever it may be!
Trying something new or rediscovering an old interest can be great for self-esteem. Continued learning through life improves confidence and encourages social interaction and a more active life.
The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.
Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:
- Sign up for a class
- Set up a book club
- Do a crossword or Sudoku
- Research something you’ve always wondered about
- Learn a new word.
This is about doing something for a friend or stranger, joining groups and being active in the community, volunteering and campaigning. It is about looking out as well as in and seeing your happiness linked to the community.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.
Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.
- Smile at someone
- Donate to charity
- Sponsor someone
- Offer to do something for someone else