Martin Furber pens a weekly wellbeing column for the Lancashire Telegraph

Martin Furber pens a weekly wellbeing column for the Lancashire Telegraph

I’ve been talking about various mental illnesses the last couple of weeks, so let’s get back to looking at wellness and helping ourselves to feel better.

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and neglect our own wellbeing. As we are at the point in the year when we have a lot of bank holidays, it’s a good time to think about what we can do.

Maintaining good mental and physical health is essential for leading a fulfilling and happy life. That's where the '5 ways to wellness' come in, so here they are:

1. Connection. Never underestimate the importance of building and maintaining positive relationships. Whether it's spending time with friends and family, volunteering in your community, or joining a social group, human connection is essential for our wellbeing. Studies have shown people who have strong social networks are happier, more resilient, and have better overall health outcomes, meaning they can live longer.

2. Be Active. Exercise has numerous health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and boosting overall physical health. Even small amounts of exercise can make a big difference in how we feel, both physically and mentally.

3. Take Notice. Pay attention to the present moment and be mindful of our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase overall wellbeing. Simple practices like meditation, deep breathing, or taking a mindful walk can help us to be more present and engaged in our daily lives.

4. Keep Learning. Research points to the importance of continuing to learn and grow throughout our lives. For many years, it was assumed we don’t generate new brain cells after a certain age, this is no longer the case. Whether it's taking a class, learning a new skill, or pursuing a personal interest, lifelong learning can help us to feel more engaged, fulfilled, and mentally sharp.

5. Give. Giving can take many forms, from volunteering time and resources to helping others in need, to performing acts of kindness in our daily lives. Giving back not only helps others, but it also promotes a sense of purpose and positive emotions in ourselves.

By focusing on these five areas and making small, intentional changes in our daily lives, we can improve our overall sense of wellbeing and reduce our risk for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, which can only be a good thing.

I hope this week’s column has given you something to think about in terms of your own wellness, and perhaps made you think about some goals to work towards. If it has then that’s great, as next week I am going to be looking at how you can help yourself reach those goals.

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