4 PILLARS OF TRUWELLBEING
Wellbeing isn’t just eating well, going to the gym and thinking happy thoughts. Each of the individual the elements contribute to wellbeing and they also rely on each other. For example, in order to make lasting change in your life, you will benefit from a positive mental attitude which is easier to manage when we have a sense of purpose and we are active.
Life goal & direction
How do we make positive change in our life happen? We often know what we don’t want but we’re not sure about what we do want. Taking time out to talk and think it through is the starting plan. Then we can start setting smaller goals and building a plan to get you what you want.
We spend a huge amount of our lives at work (and that includes parenting – which in my opinion is the hardest and most important job of all) The ability to get personal fulfilment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives can be challenging. By setting plans in place for what we want at home and work can make it easier.
Are you happy in your job? What would it take to make you happy? What are the reasons you are in your current job? When was the last time you thought about changing it…. and I mean REALLY thought about it – not just a passing whimsical thought.
We each have a responsibility for the quality of our environment quality of the air, whether it be in our homes, our communities or our planet. We can use this basic human need to make positive and fundamental changes in our life and also in our world.
Do you feel comfortable in your home environment? What could you change to make it better? How do you help the wider environment?
When you pictured who you would be when you grew up and you look in the mirror – are you happy with who you see?
How we see ourselves often changes through our lives. We start as children, where we are cared for and our identity changes into adulthood. Then we may become carers of children, or swap roles and becomes carers of loved ones. We may have a subconscious blue print for our lives and life events force us to review and change our plans. As parents, before we have children we often have plans for the kind of parent we want to be, often differs from the reality after having them.
What is your identity? What are your beliefs about yourself? Do they limit you or enable you to grow?
The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and challenge our limiting beliefs can release blocks that prevent our personal progress. When we learn that we don’t have to accept things for the way they are, it allows us to change the way we see life and make positive changes to ourselves.
What in your life is within your power to change? What do you want for yourself that you think you can’t do? You would be surprised at what people can achieve when they say I can and I will.
Being able to recognise when you are struggling with low mood, anxiety, stress or depression is the key factor in making changes in your life. It is hard to admit, that you not perfect but society is changing. It is ok to say you’re not ok, you’re not alone – Nearly half (43.4%) of adults think that they have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life (35.2% of men and 51.2% of women).
That doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. We all have ways of seeing the world or negative, intrusive inner thoughts that don’t help us. We can challenge these so that we can find better ways of thinking or speaking to help us that is positive and helpful.
Emotional Wellbeing is the ability to understand ourselves and respond to the challenges life can bring. When we acknowledge, share and respond to our feelings in a productive manner we can create a sense of balance. Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by emotions and lose connection to their value. During our lives, we develop ways to respond to our emotions, feelings and external events. If we touch a hot oven, it hurts and we learn not to touch it again. It can be the same with our feelings, if something hurts and we feel it’s out of our control, we might learn to surpress our emotions, or get angry/frustrated instead. Some people eat, drink alcohol or take drugs to help distract or give pleasure when we don’t like the feelings we have. By reconnecting and recognising our feelings and emotions we are then empowered to respond in a different and more productive way.
We all develop ways to cope with life; some are healthy, some aren’t. When we develop coping mechanisms to deal with events, feelings or thoughts that keep us in a cycle of negative inner thoughts we feel trapped.
For example, at work your boss is asking you to do more than you think is fair, you might get angry or frustrated. You can suck it up and begrudgingly try to do the best you are willing to but eventually some thing will have to give. You will likely get physically ill, exhausted or depressed. This isn’t a helpful coping mechanism. There are always options open to you (you might not like the options, but they are still options, nonetheless)
Another one is that whenever you try to stand up for what you want with a partner it always ends up being a drama, over time you have learnt it is just easier to put up and shut up. This is not a healthy coping mechanism.
We you take time to seriously explore your options you realise you have the power to make changes in yourself and the way you view your life.
When your head is filled with thoughts it is hard to know what you’re thinking. Often anxiety occurs when we feel we have no control over our thoughts (which may be predominantly negative) By learning to slow down our thoughts and break them down into feelings and values we can then understand and respond differently. We can learn to control our thoughts through mindfulness. All our intentions are positive, but just like a puppy let loose in the front room at Christmas, it doesn’t mean to be destructive but it just can’t help itself. We can teach our mind some ground rules and if needs be, give it some quite time to be calm.
Anxiety often arises from a conflict from the left side of the brain which is logical and trying to make sense of everything and the right side which is creative and can see the worse case scenario. By slowing down the inner chatter we can then make sense of our world in a rational and controlled way.
Inner voice and thoughts
We all have an inner cheerleader, which can say positive and supportive things to ourselves. We also have an inner gremlin that can be downright mean or negative or just generally unhelpful. The difficult thing is that both want the best for us. The inner gremlin has been born from experience and has learnt to protect you by telling you not to get your hopes up, think the worse etc. When we understand how the inner gremlin is trying to help we can find better ways to satisfy that same intention.
What we focus on is what we will feel. If we focus on being depressed, not being able to change, accepting things the way they are – that is exactly where we will stay. In order to feel positive, we need to focus on positive things. i.e. I know it’s only a matter of time until I start feeling better about myself. We can make very subtle shifts to the way we speak to ourselves that will snowball into a big positive change in our outlook and understanding of ourselves.
Exercise & activity
Doing exercise benefits you in more ways than physical fitness. It gives you time away from the world for you! It also promotes good mental health by releasing happy hormones. When we start treating our body with respect, engaging in healthy and fun pursuits we are reinforcing that we value ourselves. You don’t have to be a naturally sporty person to do exercise (I’m definitely not!) and there are so many different forms of exercise from archery to bowls, kayaking to football, it doesn’t have to be endless hours feeling self conscious. You can get to the stage where you actually look forward to doing exercise…why, because it makes you feel better… and that’s what you want, isn’t it?
(p.s. for those of you who haven’t got time… that’s a limiting belief, you can always make time if you want to )
Diet & nutrition
The foods we eat can directly impact our mood, our energy levels and our health. If you aren’t feeling the best about yourself, then you may have looked at changing your diet (or going to a slimming club). If you are one of the many who have struggles with slimming clubs, it’s not you, it’s them. They tell you what to eat but don’t deal with why you were eating poorly in the first place. By getting to the root of the problem, we can then find out how to make things better.
When your mind is in the right place, i.e. you know you are gorgeous! You are then empowered to make yourself even more gorgeous. You can care about yourself to know that you deserve nourishing and delicious food (not just the foods laden with sugar, salt and fat that have been carefully manufactured and appear to be more addictive than heroine) There is no naughty treats or sins… there is just a sense of calm that why would you want to disrespect your body with anything other than the best, because you do deserve respect, don’t you.
Self care & body respect
Our behaviours have a significant impact on our wellbeing and adopting healthful habits (routine check ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) as does avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) When we value our emotional self and deal with our emotions in a healthy way, we appreciate the importance of care of our physical self. No positive change can come from self loathing, so by appreciating and respecting ourselves as we are right now, we will then find our behaviours and choices fall into alignment. We will then be in harmony with our choices, rather than feeling we ‘have’ to lose weight or that we ‘must’ give up smoking… we can get to a place where will power isn’t needed and you will WANT to be healthy and care for yourself (and it’s as easy as remembering how amazing you are right now!).
Poor sleep is a result of many contributing factors. From the environment, habits, technology, overactive minds, diet and exercise. Poor sleep also contributes to negative lifestyle as it affects our brain chemistry, it changes our appetite as well as generally making us feel pretty pants when we’re knackered. So, what can you do to improve your sleep. I have spent endless hours trawling through medical papers and the latest research on how to improve sleep and I will share this with you.
Sometimes when we try and change habits we can feel stuck in a hamster wheel, going around and around, we just don’t know how to get off. I work with you to find the tools to stop the hamster wheel. Habits are a form of coping mechanism. We associate behaviours with events and feel powerless to change them (hence why the majority of the population has chosen to not have New Year’s Resolutions) There are a number of NLP techniques that can be used to break a habit, as well managing the negative inner voice and good old fashioned ‘wanting to do it and knowing you can’ empowerment. The good news is, there is always something you can do which will make change happen (p.s. I don’t rely on will power, if you’re struggling with conflicting inner voices, which is another term for will power then you’re doomed to fail)
Improving our ability to relate to and connect with other people can make us feel more secure about our place in the world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers take effort. Learning how to communicate in a constructive way that allows for feelings/thoughts to be shared, heard and understood by each of you can be helpful. Developing a deeper understanding of your partners actions, behaviours and their intentions can improve relationships.
By understanding our part in the wider scheme of the world, and how we can positively contribute improves our wellbeing. It allows us to see the world beyond our vision and improves our sense of purpose.
What’s the point? Well… that’s for us to decide, and that’s the fun bit. What is your driving factor, what give you the motivation to get out of bed in the morning excited about what you’re going to achieve each day? When we lose our sense of purpose, we feel… lost. A purpose is important for wellbeing as we each need something that gives us fire to make movement happen and allows us to feel a sense of achievement.
What’s your purpose? We all have one, we just don’t always know what it is.
Being part of a community or tribe helps us develop our sense of self. As human beings, we are social animals. We all have a community around us, whether that be in the workplace, your street, your demographic. When we connect with our tribe and have social engagement it improves our mental health and wellbeing.
Values and actions
By developing congruency between values and actions we are better able to avoid inner conflict. We often have deep seated beliefs and values that shape our view of the world which our behaviours are aligned to. When we are able to understand what motivates us at a fundamental level we can change our behaviours to still meet our values.
What do you value? What is important to you?