How to boost your happiness and wellbeing

Monday, June 24, 2019

Wellbeing is a term that you would’ve seen online or read in a magazine but what is good wellbeing and how is it linked to happiness? This World Wellbeing Week take some time to work out how to improve your mental health and wellbeing, so you are better equipped to cope with whatever situation life throws at you.

What is wellbeing?                          

Wellbeing can be hard to define, as what is good wellbeing for one person might not be for another; however, it’s generally thought to be “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Although, it goes slightly more in-depth than this as it isn’t simply about achieving these three things. The Mental Health Foundation state that it also includes:

  • how satisfied people are with their life, as a whole
  • their sense of purpose
  • how in control they feel.

The New Economics Foundation offered a further explanation which looks at someone’s internal and external factors that influence their wellbeing. For example, a person’s income, social networks or housing, as well as their optimism and self-esteem, all play a part.

Happiness and wellbeing

By definition happiness and wellbeing can be interlinked and both contributors to your overall mood, however, they can be two very separate things.

A wellbeing professional believes, "wellness is our physical and mental health and lasts over a numbers of days, weeks or months. Happiness is a state of being. Happiness can last for a long period or a few minutes."

Although happiness can encourage wellness and vice versa it’s about finding a balance. Happiness isn’t just about removing any negative emotions or situations, for some theorists happiness is a judgement – whether you’re satisfied with your life as a whole.

Workplace wellbeing

With 15.4 million work days lost to work-related stress in 2017-18, many businesses have now implemented schemes to help their employees; with recent figures suggesting 44% of UK businesses with an initiative in place.

It might be a subjective term but there’s research that suggests happiness in the workplace is influenced by three factors:

  • Organisation
  • Being treated fairly and with respect
  • Appreciation

It’s about creating a space where talking about stress and wellbeing is encouraged.

>>Find out more about our wellbeing programme, HOListic wellbeing, which was recently introduced for our employees.

How to promote workplace happiness

“The University of Warwick found that there was a 12% productivity spike in employees who were happier at work” – with some options to boost happiness including:

  • Flexible working – either working from home or working hours that can fit around your commitments outside of work.
  • Offering healthy options – it could be fruit offered in the staff room or in meetings or lunchtime walks with others around the company.
  • Discounts – gym memberships, massages or classes.

With most people spending a third of their life working, making it a happy environment can lead to longevity, loyalty and a more eager workforce who feel looked after.

Mindfulness and wellbeing

Wellbeing and mindfulness work in partnership, being able to practice mindfulness can, according to the NHS, “help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better”; and more importantly boost our happiness.

An important aspect of mindfulness is being aware of your current thoughts and feelings which in turn leads to a better wellbeing, or at least allows you to recognise what needs to change in order to improve your overall wellbeing.

Ways to be more mindful and improve your wellbeing

  • Be aware of your actions and feelings on a daily basis – take note of feelings, your surroundings, what you eat, or how your routine task has made you feel. It could be that our ‘autopilot’ state isn’t actually helping our wellbeing and we need a new perspective.
  • Be adventurous – try something new. Could be as little as trying a new place for lunch or picking up a book in a genre you don’t normally read.
  • Acknowledging your thoughts – the idea is not to stop any negative thoughts or to try and prevent them. It’s about being able to see them as passing ships, noticing their existence but letting them drift on by.

Whether it’s work, relationships, friendships, stability or purpose, we all find happiness in different ways but it’s ultimately about finding that state of mind where you’re at peace with yourself and finding what brings you joy.

For more tips on how to practice mindfulness and improve your wellbeing see tips from the NHS or read more on health and wellbeing with our recent blogs.

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