Explore barriers to wellbeing, holistically. Simple, achievable, sustainable steps to improve your health and happiness.
Adapted to support your individual needs and desired therapeutic outcome, we’ll explore your psychological wellbeing, nutritional health, exercise regime, sleep, relationships and professional satisfaction. Let’s work through the barriers to your health and happiness, together.
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The six elements of wellbeing and happiness
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For most people their work/profession/career can be a key contributor to wellbeing and happiness.
Having confidence in your work, feeling appreciated and respected by your manager or peers can greatly enhance your well-being. High levels of work satisfaction and fulfillment and being celebrated for your individual contribution and offerings in your work places can improve your health. Aspects such as role clarity, work life balance, support, training and supervision, and working for an organisation that aligns with your personal values, skills, strengths and attributes is important. It can greatly enhance feelings of workplace engagement and fulfilment all of which protect you against burnout job stress and help you cope with the demands of your job.
Psychological well-being can include many things and these can greatly enhance or hamper your wellbeing.
Below are some of the aspects that need consideration. The temperament you've been born with, your levels of optimism, gratitude and resilience. The childhood living environment, levels of nurturing, stability, love, unconditional positive regard from your caregivers are important. Relationships with your parents/caregivers, siblings and peers can also influence your identity, self-confidence and psychological wellbeing. Various chapters in your life are important as well: education, career/employment, intimate relationships, peers and social connections.
When considering your nutritional well-being, you also need to consider chemical aspects in your lifestyle.
“You are what you eat”. Whole food eating is a great start. An idea to consider is to spend more of your investment in the fruit and vegetable shops and less in the supermarkets. The supermarkets invest in marketing agents to emotionally manipulate you in to buying generally unhealthy and processed foods. I jokingly say buy food that has had the least amount of interactions with humans and technology. Sounds purist, but the less number of people that have handled the food you buy (processing, packaging, storing, preserving) the better quality of the food and it’s better for the environment too. It’s becoming common knowledge that good gut and digestive health is essential for wellbeing. However, less is expressed how emotional stress, anxiety or depression compromises gut health. Basically, these stressed states activates your sympathetic nervous system (the primitive adrenal response of flight, fright or freeze) which is a survival response, that reduces digestive function even when you have consumed the healthiest of foods.
There are so many chemicals we breath and absorb through our skin. Our skin is one of our largest organs in the body and our first line of defence, often it gets bombarded with cleaning products, skin creams, make-ups and various other chemicals.
The physical element includes your structural health and the amount of activity/movement/exercise in your life.
Your posture and ergonomics also need consideration, for instance sedentary lifestyle and sitting within the workplaces are being linked to significant health risks. Exercise is more than attending a fitness class. It needs to include movement that is supportive, and adaptive to your unique and evolving needs. Research is starting to support the concept that being active throughout the day is essential, not just a few blocks per week. The health benefits of exercising are immense and include increases in endorphins, relieving for depression, stress, anxiety and muscle tension. I have my own bias here, I believe the best exercises are ones that support the links between physical movement and emotional/psychological well-being. Such exercises could include yoga, tai chi and martial arts.
The sixth element that is the centre of wellbeing and happiness is the spiritual element.
For a spiritual/religious person, it might offer you a regular practice, a source of guidance or a purpose. Having a strong spiritual connection can create a great sense of comfort, satisfaction and assurance. It can also have strong connective power that brings people together on a regular basis and offers people a sense of commonality, something to share, discuss, guide and feel a part of. Many people turn to this support when they are feeling sad or alone. Spirituality is an individual choice and with respect, I believe each person is entitled to and should be encouraged to make their own decisions around their sense of spirituality/religion or spiritual connection. For some people it isn’t an integral part of their wellbeing, for others its fundamental.
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