In this months column, certified hypnotherapist and critical care nurse Sam Grainger urges us all to make 2023 the year we make a promise to ourselves to invest in our own wellbeing – and how to take that first step
Everyone is taking about wellbeing, but what does wellbeing actually mean and why is it important? The World Health Organisation defines wellbeing as: ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. Wellbeing is more complex than just taking five minutes of peace and quiet each day (although this may help). It is the experience of health, happiness, and a purposeful life. This includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to handle stress.
What are the different parts that make up wellbeing?
- Physical wellbeing – healthy body, balanced diet
- Emotional wellbeing – mental resilience, stress management and a sense of self
- Social wellbeing – good relationships and a solid support network
- Workplace wellbeing — feeling valued and having opportunities to develop. A good relationship with colleagues
All these parts need to be in harmony for you to get a true sense of wellbeing. Wellbeing is subjective and everyone will have their own perception of what it means to them, so take some time to consider what wellbeing means for you: How are you going to look after your own well-being?
It’s not always easy you have to make sure you achieve a balanced life. It requires effort and does not just happen. I know that if I don’t exercise, I start to feel sluggish and low in mood. This makes me bad tempered and effects my mood and relationships. So already this imbalance in one part as spilled over into other parts.
There are going to be life events that shake our wellbeing, but with the correct strategies to look after ourselves, we will find it easier to manage these times:
- Relax and reduce stress.
- Find ways to learn and be creative.
- Spend time in nature.
- Connect with others.
- Look after your physical health.
- Try to get enough sleep
Try to reframe any negative thought patterns – when you get into a negative thought cycle, it’s easy to get lost in negativity. You start to overanalyse the negative thought again and again in your mind. You lose sight of any positivity. This impacts any sense of wellbeing.
Reframe your thoughts before the negativity takes over. Look outside the box and find the positive. Set small goals, and write down small positives in your day. Think about the things that make you happy.
Start assuming positive outcomes. If you imagine yourself being successful or imagine that others are thinking positively about you, you are more likely to have a good outcome. When you picture a negative outcome, it will often keep you from trying. Since you cannot possibly predict the future, try being positive and brave.
I would suggest that this is the first step to wellbeing. If you can develop a positive outlook, then it becomes easier to find a balance in all areas of your life. Make 2023 the year you make a promise to invest in yourself. Find that healthy balance.