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Improving your mental wellbeing

There are many things we can all do to improve our mental wellbeing and help ourselves cope during times of stress and difficulty. Below we talk about some of the most widely accepted and current approach to positively managing your own mental wellbeing.

Five ways to well-being

  1. Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
  2. Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find the activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
  3. Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?
  4. Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
  5. Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”, and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges

Great Dream

GIVING — Do things for others

RELATING – Connect with people

EXERCISING – Take care of your body

APPRECIATING – Notice the world around

TRYING OUT – Keep learning new things

DIRECTION – Have goals to look forward to

RESILIENCE – Find ways to bounce back

EMOTION – Take a positive approach

ACCEPTANCE – Be comfortable with who you are

MEANING – Be part of something bigger

Go to the Action for Happiness website to find out more about Great Dream

Resilience

Resilience is a widely used term but most usually talks about how an individual copes and thrives amongst the different challenges life throws at us all. Those challenges can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problems, or workplace and financial worries, to name a few. No one irrespective of gender, race or wealth is immune from such challenges.

Likewise resilience is a trait we all have to different extents but also a skill we can all work on developing. Indeed often overcoming challenges can actually help people develop their resilience and helping people (including children) understand this can be a useful process.

Some skills, beliefs and behaviours contribute to resilience

  • Understand what causes you stress
  • Have your own strategies for coping and managing stress (self-talk, breathing exercises 7/11, finger tracing, being Mindful)
  • Accept yourself including your shortcomings
  • Accept that others have shortcomings
  • Understand we all face some challenges in life, no one has the perfect life.
  • Understand everyone fails sometimes (see you tube clip…)
  • Understand everyone has talents
  • Understand you can manage your attitude (glass half full or glass half empty)
  • Keep things in perspective
  • Learn to resolve conflicts
  • Learn to overcome difficult tasks (problem solve, small steps, working with others)
  • Focus on your sphere of control
  • Recognise when you need help and know where to get it

Mindfulness

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

Some people call this awareness ‘mindfulness’, and you can take steps to develop it in your own life.

Becoming more aware of the present moment means noticing the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that you experience, as well as the thoughts and feelings that occur from one moment to the next.

In South Gloucestershire we have some Mindfulness resources in our local libraries but also run Mindfulness courses where people can learn to develop their own skills support by a teacher. We can offer either a 90 minute taster or eight week course for those interested.

Contact mentalhealth@southglos.gov.uk for more details.

Anxiety in schools toolkit

Anxiety in school children is an issue gaining more attention both nationally and locally. In response a number of professional and parents have contributed to a toolkit aimed at teachers, parents and students themselves. If offers a range of advice and links to other resources that help young people develop strategies to cope with the pressures they face. It also acts as give teachers and parents ideas to help create an environment that reduces some of the stresses young people currently face.

For more information on the toolkit, contact mentalhealth@southglos.gov.uk

Improving your mental wellbeing

Signposts to groups and activities you could take part in to help you promote and manage your mental health and wellbeing.

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