If you want to get the most out of life and improve on your well being, you have to go beyond merely watching what you eat and exercising a bit more. According to clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, well being is associated with balance, understanding, acceptance and constant growth.
But what does that mean for you? How can you develop these aspects of well being in order to enhance what you already have? Let’s explore 5 activities you can easily introduce into your everyday life, to boost your well being today.
1) Stretch. To stretch is to distress. It is a simple idea: by increasing the muscles’ and ligaments’ ability to elongate, this not only increases your flexibility, enhances your range of movement and helps prevent injury, it also improves blood circulation.
Whether it’s a simple bend forward and touch your toes type of session, or a teacher-led yoga class, just 5-10 minutes, once a day, will not only work wonders for your body’s natural resilience, but it will have a profound affect on your general mood and well being. By stretching and relieving stress, tight muscles that often accompany mental tension also relax. Just remember to breath into and during the stretch and enjoy the release that comes with letting go.
2) Eat more veggies. It’s official: eating more vegetables boosts psychological well being. Not only are vegetables good for your body, they are great for your mind too. This recent study found that in just two weeks, participants who consumed extra fruit and vegetables reported a boost in mental well being, in particular demonstrating improvements in vitality and motivation.
Whilst scientists still aren’t clear exactly what it is about vegetables that improves your well being, they assume it has something to do with the nutrients they are packing. Past research has suggested a link between B vitamins (found in spinach, sprouts and oranges) and serotonin production – the happiness chemical in your brain.
3) Meditate. Mindfulness and meditation not only boost your brain performance, they alleviate stress, increase compassion and help PTSD sufferers. By focussing on the present, not the past or the future – things you can’t control, you are better placed to deal with trouble when it strikes, improving your well being now and in the future.
4) Learn to be resilient. The benefits of learning to be resilient far outweigh the assumption that you are naturally resilient, capable of withstanding whatever it is that life throws at you. If you know you are equipped to weather adversity and bounce back, that you have the courage to deal with it face on, that you have the connections in place to aid you with recovery and the creativity required to reach your full potential, it can only serve to benefit your well being.
5) Go to sleep early. The power of sleep on your well being should never be underestimated. It is as vital to your health as eating and breathing. A lack of sleep has been scientifically linked to poor physical and mental health, so hit the hay early and let your body, and mind, get the full recovery they require