The true importance of good wellbeing is underpinned in living a healthy and successful life. The way we feel about ourselves dictates many of our daily interactions with the people we meet, the tasks we perform, and the mentality we utilise throughout the day.
The action and reaction involved in these tasks pivots around this idea of healthy living. It’s not good to feel bad, but when feeling so, it’s likely to translate into the person your perceived to be.
Wellbeing bridges the gap between physical and mental composure, and it’s both of these that need to level in order for wellbeing to sustain itself.
Mental pain is just as influential as physical pain, and no two people in the world deal with this relationship in the same way. Therefore, it’s important to consider the term ‘wellbeing’ as holistically as possible. A decline in wellbeing can be strongly associated with attitudes, past experiences, and an outlook on life. Like throwing a stone into a pond, the events of a certain time can ripple in to the later stages of life.
But today is going to be a good day, because we’re here with you to share our own 10 steps on how to improve your wellbeing, health, and experience of life:
The quality and length of your sleep is massively influential to your wellbeing, and those full 8 hours aren’t to be shied away from. Some truly unbelievable consequences happen to the body when you don’t sleep. In the short term, it’ll be clear that your energy levels will be completely depleted, whilst your cognitive function and concentration take a drastic hit. Irritability will set in, and you’ll feel much more anxious than usual. Long term sleep deprivation on the other hand has strong ties with the development of serious illnesses such as cancer and diabetes, and the experience of complete mental and physical impairment isn’t uncommon.
Rest gives the body and mind time to relax, repair, and rejuvenate. There’s a lot of important processes that need to happen during sleep, and the body needs time to complete them. It really is the cornerstone of good wellbeing, and investing in your sleep is investing in your health.
2. Drink Water
Considering that the body is made up of about 60% water, it’s no wonder that drinking water is so important for optimal health and wellbeing. Water carries oxygen to the bloodstream, and delivers nutrients to the cells. It helps in stabilising digestion, blood pressure, and the balance of fluids within the organs. More importantly, drinking water flushes out the toxins from our system, and the bacteria from the bladder.
These are all elements that have the potential to contribute towards the fall of wellbeing, especially the physical manifestation of pain. When knowing exactly how much water to drink in a day, for men, we’d recommend around 3 to 4 litres a day, and for women, around 2 to 3 litres a day. Always try to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you’re exercising heavily.
3. Eat Right
Very much like water, the level and quality of nutrition the body receives tilts the scales of our wellbeing. When we eat, the brain releases a type of neurotransmitter called Dopamine into the system, and although it’s responsible for controlling and triggering the appetite, it’s also largely identified as the ‘feel good’ hormone that donates to our feelings of pleasure, excitability, and euphoria. Eating is good, because it makes us feel good.
Nutrition provides energy to the muscles and mind, but a balance is important. And thankfully, regardless of dietary requirements, there are plenty of options available through which to do this. Meal planning is one form, and comes as a really good and accurate way to measure your intake, both or over-eating and under-eating. Incorporating a good amount of proteins, whole grain foods, vegetables, and fruits into your diet is highly recommended, and you should avoid processed foods and refined sugar as often as you can.
If you’re seeking to improve your wellbeing at both a mental and physical level, enjoying even just 30 minutes of exercise a day will act as a sure-fire way to achieve this.
Biologically, the experience of feeling happier during and after periods of exercise - colloquially known at ‘runner’s high’ - is caused by the increased production of endorphins in the brain; a chemical reaction directly linked to physical activity. When fresh endorphins enter the blood stream, they work to relieve stress, and promote a sense of euphoria. In addition to this, the benefits of exercise include better circulation, improved flexibility and improved stamina.
5. Exposure to Sunlight
It’s well known that too much exposure to sunlight is bad for the skin, but that doesn’t mean that all levels of exposure are necessarily bad; it’s more about getting just the right amount - we’d recommend about 5 to 15 minutes of direct exposure up to 3 times a week, when the weather and time allows!
Our point here can actually be referenced to a type of disorder called ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ (SAD), which is caused by sunlight’s relationship with the skin. Sun exposure causes the brain to release a hormone called Serotonin, which has been well documented for its ability to invoke calm, improve the mood, and rebalance focus. SAD is caused when the body isn’t exposed to enough sunlight, a natural occurrence that comes with the changing seasons. So whilst we have it, get as much sunlight as you can!
6. Develop Yourself
Self-development is critical to personal development, growth, and wellbeing. Depression, and especially elements of mental wellbeing, is centred around this idea of feeling developmentally stuck. Without a sense of progression, the mind and mood have a tendency to sink into the mud.
To begin this process of self-development, create a list of your desires, ambitions, and the goals you’d like to achieve. Focus on how you can complete this list, and reward yourself every time you’re able to tick something off. They can be ambitions of any size, but as long as you’re creating this cycle of positive reenforcement by rewarding yourself, the brain will recognise the task of completing the list in a positive light; making the process itself much easier over time.
7. Positive Productivity
Everyone has a daily to-do list, and although the majority of the tasks may seem small, they occupy a large proportion of our mental power, and heavily influence our perception of self-esteem.
If your to-do list is packed with tasks that you absolutely hate - for example, your job or a specific relationship with someone - your wellbeing will begin to follow suit. We can lose this awareness of what’s benefitting us and what’s not, and regaining such awareness and taking the appropriate steps forward to reorder our lives is a massive step to take, but it’ll also massively benefit your wellbeing and sense of worth. Never be afraid to lose what’s not serving you anymore!
Perhaps none of the previous 7 steps have worked for you, and that is absolutely ok. You see, wellbeing is closely tied to past experiences and previous traumas, and the backbone of negative wellbeing stems from the memory of trauma.
With this being said, there are some things in life that require a higher level of analysis to remedy. It requires a huge amount of bravery, but if your wellbeing is being stumped by something that’s previously happened to you, taking the courage to speak to someone about it will make you feel one-hundred times better; we absolutely promise this. You should never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help, and please know that nothing bad truly lasts forever.
We realise that this next step is a little ambitious given the current state of international travel, but the benefits of a change of scene for the mind and body are incredible. When feeling bad, the mind can form natural associations with our immediate surroundings, and we begin to link what we see with what we feel.
Even if it’s just a weekend staycation, moving yourself to somewhere new will help you to clear your mind and to create new, hopefully positive, experiences to remember. You’ll be surprised by just how different you feel when you return. So, where are we going?
This is possibly one of the most important features on our list, but a sense of inner calm can only come from an equal sense of outer calm. With lifestyles becoming faster, more demanding, and ever-strenuous, many appear to have lost sight of the true importance of just stopping. Do nothing, put your feet up, switch your phone off. Disconnect to reconnect to your inner-peace. In very much the same way as meditation, this level of imposed calm, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, will give you time to clear the mind and regain your composure and thoughts. Sometimes just shutting out the outside world for a moment is all your wellbeing will need to recover.
Repeat these 10 steps as often as you like. They form the foundation of good wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle, and are therefore extremely interlinked with each other. But as a piece of parting advice, we’d like to strongly recommend starting with your sleep first. If you’ve had a bad night, there’s very little chance of you having a good day.
To improve the quality and quantity of your sleep to better your wellbeing, visit our carefully-cultivated collection of dreamy sleep products here: www.sleepsmug.com/collections/sleep
Exercising your way to a better feeling? You’ll definitely want to check this out first: www.sleepsmug.com/collections/active
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