Our Claire looks at the Five Ways To Wellbeing…

As I’ve mentioned in the last few blogs, recently I’ve been getting out and about more. I wouldn’t like to pretend that I didn’t experience moments of anxiety during my trips out. My anxiety arises as what I call “future dooming”. So I’ve found that, when my anxiety strikes, the best thing is to bring my attention to the present. So, for example, when I found myself feeling anxious on the train, I would look out the window at the passing scenery.

This ‘taking notice’ is one of Mind’s Five Ways To Wellbeing. However, it doesn’t just help with anxiety. According to Mind, “savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.” So what are the other four ways to wellbeing?

Connect

According to Mind, “there is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.”

So, for instance, you could phone or video call someone instead of sending an email. You could perhaps go out of your way to help a friend. Taking more interest in the other people in our lives shifts our attention away from our own worries. It also helps build camaraderie and self-esteem. We no longer feel so alone and defenceless in the world.

Be Active

As I’ve mentioned before, regular physical activity is linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety. Not only that but Mind states that it “is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.”

That doesn’t mean that you have to enter Liverpool’s Rock n Roll Marathon or swim the Irish Sea. Just walking the long way to the shops is good enough. It needn’t be boring either – sex counts as physical activity too!

Learn

Keeping our minds active helps with self-esteem and can also help to lift older people out of depression. If we also join a class – even if it’s an online class – it helps with social interaction which, as I’ve already mentioned, builds camaraderie and self-esteem. The great thing with online classes is that you’re not limited by geography either. I’ve been to some where people have been not just in different counties but different countries!

However, it’s not all about being part of a class. Perhaps you might have a question about your local church you’ve always wondered about or where you might go for a holiday. In which case, there is a wealth of information out there on the internet and the real world just waiting to be discovered.

Give

According to Mind, “Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.” I can see why this might be the case – I always feel good about myself when I’ve helped someone out. It’s one of the reasons why I volunteer.

When I think about it, there’s a whole load of stuff on the internet about committing acts of kindness. One of my favourite artists, Paul Harfleet, has even based his career around it. In The Pansy Project, he goes around planting pansies at sites where acts of homophobic or transphobic abuse have happened. I think this – turning acts of hate into acts of love – is just lovely!

I hope the above has given you some inspiration but never forget that WHISC will always be here for you in these challenging times. Please never be afraid to call 07708 381 568 should you need more information about what they do or even for a chinwag. Together, we will get through this.

The Centre at WHISC is temporarily closed in our effort to keep everyone safe in line with the tightening of lockdown restrictions across the region. We will review on a weekly basis. We will also post updates on Facebook.
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