Become a Wellbeing Explorer
The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘Wellbeing’ as being ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy’, but the concept is very broad and you can find many other definitions of it and theories about it. Working out what it means for you so that you can think about how to improve it means exploring, but not exploring the outside world, exploring the inside one.
Pop on your (real or imaginary) explorer’s hat and make a start by considering some questions about five key wellbeing factors.
In the last week:
Social connectivity is important for our wellbeing, but we need to be aware which interactions enrich our lives and which are having a negative impact, bringing us down and limiting us.
Who did I speak to or write to, or connect with?
How did they make me feel?
- How could any negative interactions be minimised?
- How could I spend more time connecting with those who encourage and nourish me, those who help me realise my potential and bring me happiness?
How active was I?
Did I take the recommended amount of exercise for my body?
Physical activity is important for our wellbeing, but it doesn’t mean we have to go to the gym every day.
- Is my body experiencing its full range of movement every day?
- Are there areas of me that I choose to ignore or don’t even think about?
- What physical activity makes me feel better; dancing, walking, running, sports, yoga? How could I enjoy incorporating some of this, or more of this, into my week?
Did I learn anything new this week?
Was my mind stimulated?
Do I feel I am moving forward?
Learning new skills is important for our wellbeing. A skill could be anything from learning how to make a loaf of bread, to learning how to listen better or learning how to throw a pot.
- Is there anything I have always wanted to learn or understand more about?
- How could I access some information about this?
- Are there online videos or courses about it?
- Could I download a podcast to listen to when I am doing something else, like housework or walking/travelling?
Did I give anything to others?
Giving to others is important for our wellbeing. It takes many forms besides buying presents or making donations to charity. You can give your time to listen, or your skill in preparing food, or even teach someone something.
Is there anyone who would benefit from the gift of a phone call, an email or a surprise postcard?
- Who have I not heard from in a while?
- What do I have to give to a person, or to an animal?
- Could I give my knowledge, my patience or my compassion?
When did I sit quietly and pay attention to the present moment?
Am I always seeming to be rushing from one task to the next, doing the same things, worrying about something or responding to alerts on my phone?
Paying attention to the present moment is important for our wellbeing. The more we do this, the easier it becomes to incorporate its lessons into other parts of our lives.
- Could I turn off the notifications on my mobile for a short while every day?
- Where could I sit quietly and take some deep breaths?
- Is there a particular scent or sound that helps me relax?
- If natural sounds are my thing, could I download a recording of the sea, or of falling rain?
You will find more of your own questions about the five areas above and of course the answers for everyone will be very different and will change over time, so it is good to revisit them. See if applying a few of your own ideas improves your own sense of feeling comfortable, healthy or happy in the week ahead.
There is always so much more to discover about our own wellbeing.