Mental Health
and Wellbeing

10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health and Wellbeing by  Practicing Mindfulness
By Fizza Bukhari (BSc Psychology and Counselling at The University of Salford)

Our mental health holds great importance in influencing how we feel, act and live our lives. Mental health dictates our general wellbeing and impacts our lives in various ways. We all are aware of the benefits in exercising to improve our physical health, yet how many of us actively work on improving our mental health? Mental health can be effectively improved by practising mindfulness. It is beneficial to practice mindfulness to increase value to our life and improve our overall mental and physical health. The purpose of this article is to provide suggestions on the multiple ways you can practice mindfulness to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Remember, anyone can have a bad day but it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad life.

The Ten Keys to Happiness

Mindfulness can be practiced by adopting the ten keys to happiness. Research has shown that a majority of our happiness is not determined by our genetics, but by our experiences and our day-to-day lives (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, & Schkade, 2005). Meaning, that we can somewhat control our levels of happiness and how we live each day. These 10 keys help us to exercise and live life with a mindful approach which will ultimately increase levels of happiness.

1. Giving

Holding out a helping hand, it makes other people happy and will make you feel happier too.

 Examples of ways to give:

  • Share your skills or offer support
  • Ask friends, family or colleagues how they are and listen without judgement

2. Relating

The people around you offer a valuable pool of support so it’s important to put time into strengthening those connections.

Examples of ways to relate:

  • Meet up with someone you haven’t seen in a while
  • Turn off distractions to chat with friends or family about your day

3. Trying out

Learning new things is stimulating and can help to lift your mood!

Examples of ways to give:

  • Take on a new role at work or school
  • Try out a new hobby, club or activity that interests you

Contact a member of the team to be notified on any activities or workshops we have on!

4. Resilience

Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can often choose our own response to what happens.

Examples of showing resilience:

  • Find an outlet such as talking to friends or writing it down
  • Take action to improve your resilience skill

5. Direction

Working towards positive, realistic goals can provide motivation and structure.

Ways to practice direction:

  • Choose a goal that is meaningful to you, not what someone else expects of you
  • Remember to celebrate progress along the way

6. Exercising

Regular activity will provide an endorphin boost and increase confidence.

How to add exercise:

  • Find an activity that suits you and your schedule
  • Swap the car on short journeys and cycle or walk to work

7. Awareness

Taking time to switch off autopilot and ‘be in the moment’ is a great tool to combat stress.

  • Find an activity that suits you and your schedule
  • Swap the car on short journeys and cycle or walk to work

8. Meaning

People who have meaning in their lives experience less stress, anxiety and depression.

Ways to add meaning to your life:

  • Prioritise the activities, people and beliefs that bring you the strongest sense of purpose
  • Volunteer for a cause, be part of a team, notice how your actions make a difference for others

9. Emotions

Positive emotions can build up a buffer against stress and even lead to lasting changes in the brain to help maintain wellbeing.

Ways to help feel more positive emotion:

  • Prioritise the activities, people and beliefs that bring you the strongest sense of purpose
  • Volunteer for a cause, be part of a team, notice how your actions make a difference for others

10. Acceptance

No one is perfect. Longing to be someone different gets in the way of making the most of our own happiness.

How to practice acceptance:

  • Be kind to yourself when things go wrong
  • Shift the focus away from what you don’t have and can’t do, to what you have and can do

Where to go if you need additional support with your mental health

From time to time we all experience challenging times here we feel as though it is difficult to speak to our loved ones. There is no shame in reaching out to services which provide emotional and mental support. In fact, it takes a lot to acknowledge your struggles and reach out to services to give you that extra bit of support. At Voice of BME-T, we are always here to give you support and guide you to the right services which can support you best. Please do not hesitate to give us a call or email and we will do our very best to help you.

For additional information on free services and additional resources, please click the link below to direct you to the NHS Mental Health webpage:

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

List of Helpline services:

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/helplines.htm#:~:text=%20%20%20%20Website%20%2F%20Organisation%20,parents%40%20youngminds%20.org.uk%20%2033%20more%20rows%20

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