Why is wellbeing important?

Working and juggling the demands of everyday life is not something we should underestimate. There's keeping up with meetings and emails, fitting in the gym, shopping for and cooking healthy food, dropping kids off, flossing your teeth, keeping up with who’s liked what on Facebook. At its most basic level, wellbeing is when you’re feeling good and functioning well. It includes feeling physically and mentally well, spiritually aware or connected, and that your life is worthwhile and has purpose.

And the thing is, wellbeing has a multiplier effect. When you’re happy and well, you’re more likely to experience positive relationships with others, a feeling of control over your life, and a sense of purpose. The good news is that you can work on improving your resilience and wellbeing. Research demonstrates that there are five key areas to focus on:

Being active

We’re more connected than ever before, thanks to modern technology. But failing to switch off – our phones, tablets and minds – can have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.

Luckily, there’s a relatively simple fix! Working to improve our physical health – through regular exercise, a healthy diet and sufficient sleep – can keep us feeling strong, calm, focused and more resilient.

The Make A Move challenge is the perfect way to introduce activity into your daily routine: 15, 30 or 60 minutes each day can be dedicated to a single activity, or you can mix it up throughout the month.

Connect

The Beatles taught us many things through their music, including that we can get by with a little help from our friends. But did you know that social connectedness is absolutely critical to our resilience and overall wellbeing? Surrounding ourselves with people who not only offer a perspective and emotional support, but also reflect back our values and strengths, can help us maintain our resolve during tough times. Life – both inside and outside of the workplace – can be super-stressful, but nurturing a diverse array of relationships can make even the most challenging circumstances more bearable.

Take notice

Mindfulness is having a moment right now. It seems like every man and his dog is getting in on it. But did you know that mindfulness isn’t just about chanting and sitting in the Lotus Position? It’s the practice of being aware of the present moment and focusing your attention on that and nothing else. When we're faced with looming deadlines, endless inboxes and mountains of work, taking the time to refocus and centre our attention can help us to regain a sense of calm and control. Pausing gives your body and mind the chance to take stock of the situation and enables you to respond more skillfully.

Keep learning

‘Why is the sky blue? Why? Why? Why?’ For children, every facet of the world represents an opportunity to learn. Well, it turns out we should hold onto that child-like curiosity, with research demonstrating it’s important for people of all ages and life stages to keep learning for happiness, health and wellbeing. Learning new things can boost our self-confidence and self-esteem, and help us to find meaning and purpose in life. It’s a great way to keep your brain active and healthy for a long and busy life. And in a world that is changing faster than ever, there are so many opportunities to learn, and that includes outside of the workplace. No idea how to use Snapchat? Cryptic crosswords got you puzzled? Is there a new recipe calling you? Approach the world with curiosity and look for small opportunities to keep learning.

Give

Think back to all the times you’ve done something nice for someone without expecting anything in return. You probably remember that it gave you a warm, fuzzy feeling. This is because helping others makes us feel good. It gives us a sense of purpose, improves our self-worth and contributes to strong relationships. Generosity can also start in small ways – at work, at home and with friends. It can be as simple as taking the time to check in with an old friend, or offering your seat to someone on the bus or train. If you take some time to practise empathy and identify ways you can improve the lives of those around you, everyone will reap the benefits.