“Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.” Dale Carnegie
Many philosophers, thinkers and scientists claim that happiness depends more on ourselves, on our inner condition, on the way we think and act, rather than on external factors. That is not to deny some people do not face serious problems, but rather to suggest that if you are unhappy, you should review your own attitude and behaviour. How? We will tell you here. But first, it will be useful for you to know what is mental wellbeing, how you can increase it, and how it affects your relationship with the world around you.
What is mental well-being?
From the perspective of the positive psychology, mental well-being covers the personal attributes and capacities to increase happiness. It includes:
- the development of personal potential,
- feeling confident and capable,
- being self-aware and self-accepting,
- having a sense of purpose,
- having the capacity for autonomous action, and
- having the capacity for positive relationships with others.
The above seem like the nirvana, the capabilities everyone wants to achieve! And everyone should, because these, in turn, will increase our resilience, which is essential to develop efficient problem-solving skills, building and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Resilience gives us the tools needed in times of change and stress, like the breakdown of a relationship, the diagnose of an illness, work changes, etc.
In an interview published by the Warwick University, Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health at the University of Warwick and well-being expert, said:
“The feeling side of mental well-being can be influenced by all sorts of things that happen to us in our daily lives, but the functioning side is learnt and can be taught. (…) We can still learn these skills and attitudes in adulthood; we just have to believe that things can change, that we are not slaves to the patterns that we developed in childhood.”
She also highlighted the connection between individual well-being and social well-being:
“There is a deeper kind of well-being, which is about living in a way that is good for you and good for others around you.”
Certainly, social well-being is the sum of individual well-being. According to the UK’s Faculty of Public Health, people with mental well-being are also generous, wise and compassionate. Therefore, promoting the mental well-being of all, particularly of those who are in positions of power, is an important approach to contribute to a happier environment.
5 ways to mental well-being
Many times, we take things for granted. We are used to the view we have from our balcony, so we stop taking notice. We are so immersed in our daily duties and routines that we postpone calling a friend or our family and keep making excuses to stay where we are. We become passive, sedentary, and eventually we lose some of our curiosity to explore new things.
Research by NEF recommends five positive actions to increase our mental wellbeing:
How much time do you invest in your social relations? (social media networks and instant messaging apps don’t count). Strengthening your relationship with your family, friends, co-workers, or neighbours can increase your sense of belonging and can make you feel happier and more secure.
2. Be active.
The concept of well-being involves two factors: feeling good and functioning well, so go for a walk, run, or do any other activity that makes you feel good and improves your overall fitness. This physical activity pyramid will help you understand more the kind of activities you should make sure you do every day.
3. Take notice.
Be aware and mindful of the things around you. Be curious, savour the moments, pay attention.
4. Keep learning.
When was the last time you enrolled in a course or decided to explore a new topic? Always keep learning. It will keep you active, curious, it will make you feel more confident and will contribute to your creativity and imagination. Knowledge will make your life richer.
It is scientifically proved that giving, rather than keeping things for ourselves, makes us happy. Do something nice for someone, give a smile, be grateful and generous. Try it 🙂
5 ways to wellbeing: connect, be active, be mindful, keep learning, give. Click To Tweet