Guest post by Natalie Moore.
What is Well-Being anyway?
There are many definitions but I love this one – Wellbeing’ is described as “enabling people to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, form positive relationships with others and meaningfully contribute to the community” (Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project 2008). The World Health Organisation describes ‘wellbeing’ as being able to function well: psychologically, physically, emotionally and socially.
I would define Well-Being as the way we live. It’s how we want to function as a person, living by our values, showing up as the person we want to be and developing meaning behind the things we do.
What Well-Being isn’t?
The fitness, sporting, fad diet industry is booming with images of the quintessential “healthy” individual. We’ve all seen the social media posts, muscled arms, tanned skin, thin bodies, 6 pack abs…you name it, you’ve probably seen it. What about the challenges that have us dropping kilos in quick succession to have us then return to our “post challenge” selves.
The thing that drives me crazy is that the messages are all of unrealistic appearances – look great, feel great. I am not discounting this saying entirely but I also strongly know that our well-being goes beyond physical looks. This is why I have embraced so passionately my work as a wellness and mindset coach, because having been on my own journey of lost identity to then embracing my passions, purpose and connections I know that the superficial images that are flashed before us on social media are not the true depiction of Well-being.
Influences on Well-Being
I particularly love the leading research to come out of the New Economics Development in the UK. They have created the 5 Ways to Wellbeing – connect, be active, keep learning, give and take notice. When I first learnt about this framework I loved it instantly because it encapsulates learning, growth, meaning and being present. In a world of ongoing connection through our smartphones, we are more disconnected than ever and any learnings that can promote a life of improved connection has my vote.
What are the 5 Ways to Well-being?
- Connect – we are hard-wired to belong and be part of a community. The greater the quality of our connections and relationships the better we function.
- Take Notice – is being self-aware, noticing and truly connecting with the people around us and most importantly with ourselves. It’s about staying focused on the task we are doing, the conversation we are having or the time on our own without distraction.
- Keep Learning – as a learning nerd I love this one. Adult learning is linked to improved health and well-being, as we have a lifelong natural desire to want to learn which boosts confidence and self-esteem.
- Give – increase vitality, happiness and joy by giving of ourselves to causes, friends in need, donating our time and resources.
- Be Active – the benefits of being active go without saying. But they also go beyond physical – there are biological, neurological and motivational factors that can be enhanced.
How can you incorporate the 5 Ways to Well-Being in your life?
Some of my greatest tips are below:
- Join a club or community group with aligned interests and passions. E.g. I am part of a mums running group.
- Practicing mindfulness and/or meditation are great practices to help you be present. My favourite meditation app is Insight Timer but even a 6 deep breath exercise brings you back to the moment and feeling calmer.
- Practice Gratitude – each night before bed write out 3 things you are grateful for in your day.
- Watch a webinar, listen to a podcast, read a book or enrol in a short course. The Internet has opened our learning opportunities, so gone the days when you need to enrol in a 3 year Bachelor Degree to learn. Take my word for it though once you start you won’t want to stop.
- Volunteer your time for a charity or cause. Donate money to a cause. Get involved in an event which raises funds for a cause, i.e. fun run.
- Find the type of exercise or movement you enjoy. The last thing you want is for your exercise to become a chore. And most importantly discount the idea that exercise needs to be time based – if you can only exercise for 15 minutes at a time, do that. Some movement is better than no move and once you educate your mind to this idea, you will start to see opportunities to exercise longer.
- Some of my favourite exercises are – Yoga – Try Yoga with Adriene for an at home workout, walking the Heart Foundation has multiple walking groups across the country and if you can’t find one, start one: I did! Running of course, couch to 5k is a good app.
The other important step when it comes to boosting your well-being is simply around making small incremental changes at a time. Long gone is the mentality of “its all or nothing”.
So, I ask you what is one small step you can take today to boost your health and wellbeing?
Natalie Moore is a Wellness & Mindset Coach who loves helping women go from surviving to thriving by finding passion and purpose in their life, whether that’s in career, health, fitness or simply as a woman. You can contact Natalie at www.bemoore.com.au or connect with her at Be Moore Wellness on Facebook and Instagram.
To learn more about Be Moore Wellness Coaching, visit our support services page.