World Mental Health Day
MENTAL WELL BEING AND HAPPINESS
Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence (Aristotle).
Mental well-being is about thoughts and feelings and how one copes with the ups and downs of daily life. It includes feeling confident in oneself, building and maintaining positive relationships, having a sense of purpose, living and working productively, and coping with the stresses of life.
Research suggests that only 17% of the population is flourishing. The rest, 58.86%, is moderate, 14.1% depressed, and 12.1% languishing. It is essential to know that 50% of our happiness comes from our genes, 10% is related to circumstances, and only 40% is under our control. This means that we can increase our happiness through specific interventions. Happy people live longer, healthier lives, are more successful, and positively impact those around them.
All of us can achieve happiness and live a prosperous life. Here are a few tips:
1) Social connectedness and meaningful communication. This is perhaps the most crucial factor. Good relationships and strong social support are essential for mental well-being. They help build a sense of belonging and worth. Social interactions provide an opportunity to share positive experiences and provide emotional support. Therefore, it is important to take time outs regularly to be with family and friends.
We should not rely on social media/technology to build relationships. Research suggests isolation may be twice as dangerous as smoking.
We should attempt to add value to everyone we encounter by being empathetic and also communicate our thoughts and feelings with our loved ones.
Gratitude is directly connected to happiness and well-being. We should see the goodness and abundance of life. Gratitude can be learned. A good practice is to share three things we are grateful for daily once we wake up. We can also send a note or letter to someone who made a difference in our life. Gratitude is known to up our levels of happiness in weeks.
Paying attention to the present moment, purposefully and nonjudgmentally, is mindfulness. We remain anxious, either because of past events or due to worries about the future. We often ignore that happiness lies only in the present moment. Therefore, we must make conscious efforts to be in the present moment.
Research suggests our mind wanders 50% of the time during any activity. Practicing mindfulness can also improve our focus.
4.) ABUNDANCE MINDSET
Abundance mindset is the recognition of what is right about life. It is a concept in which a person believes that there are enough resources and successes to share with others (Stephen Covey). An abundance mindset allows us to live a satisfying life. We must exude happiness despite circumstances. We should strive to feel plentiful, creative, and inspired to create memorable and meaningful experiences.
5.) KINDNESS AND COMPASSION
Research shows that kind, and compassionate people are more satisfied with their lives, have better physical and mental health, stronger relationships, and better immunity. During COVID 19, wearing a mask is an act of kindness towards oneself, our family, and society. There are many ways of helping others by being sensitive and empathetic. Volunteering and donating to charity help others and increases self-worth.
6.) MEANING AND PURPOSE
Finding meaning may be the highest form of happiness. Meaning can be achieved by applying personal strengths to the service of something larger than ourselves. Taking on a social cause or helping in community upliftment builds a sense of purpose.
Engagement is a state of flow that is achieved when the perfect combination of challenge and skill is found while doing an activity. Happiness is one of the byproducts of engagement.
Listed above are some of the practices that contribute to mental wellbeing and happiness. Let’s not forget the obvious ones:
- Sleep and physical exercise
- Better organization/Time management
- Spending time in nature
- Acceptance of reality/Wholeness of life
This is not an exhaustive list, but the above-mentioned practices will bring about a substantial shift towards mental wellbeing and happiness.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF