What if we flipped the script and moved away from stress management to focus on the habits of happiness…?
“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” (World Health Organisation)
To start off the series, we will be focusing on maintaining physical health.
Physical health and wellbeing are more than exercising, more than what we eat, more than how we eat, more than the hours we sleep; they are actually a combination of everything.
Let’s get moving
We all know the research and studies about exercise on our physical health and emotional well-being. The NHS guidelines state that we should do a combination of aerobic and strength-based exercise on a regular basis. The National Health Service (UK health authority body) website provides greater information in terms of the combination for different age groups – see more details here.
Studies show that when we exercise, we feel good, the happy hormones in our bodies are released and that sense of wellbeing is gained.
“Some researchers argue that exercise acts as a diversion from negative thoughts (Smith, 2006). Others argue that exercise improves mood by virtue of the personal growth and goal attainment that results from efforts to master a physical skill (Ströhle, 2009). Furthermore, research evidence indicates that the social interaction involved in certain kinds of exercise (such as team sports) contributes to personal satisfaction and consequently, mood enhancement (Stubbe, 2007)” (pursuit of happiness org).
Think about how you can start to add exercise into your life, can you join a running club, a sports team, a Tough Mudder or Spartan race. Anything we do which is active contributes to our overall sense of wellbeing.
Eating for a good mood
Diet and good nutrition are core to how we feel inside which reflects in our persona, health and general energy in everyday life. Nutritional psychiatry focuses on the impact of food and supplements on our mental well-being. Food impacts our moods and ensuring the correct balance of carbs, proteins and fats are integrated into our diet is essential for our overall well-being.
The impact of food on our mood can be further understood through our own experiences of when we last ate a bad meal to when we ate a healthy one.
They say that our gut is our second brain, so we need to ensure we feed the right types of good bacteria to strengthen the gut and digestive process. By adding fermented foods from yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir to probiotics can lead to a healthier and happy body and peace of mind.
Sleeping to restore
Sleep is also key to our physical well-being and overall state of mind. How many of you have felt rough and like jelly when you have slept badly or are burning the candle at both ends?
During sleep, we rest, we recuperate, and we restore ourselves and this is essential to our emotional wellbeing and overall happiness and outlook of life. So many factors play a part in how well we sleep and by adopting some core bedtime routines, we can give ourselves the chance to rest easy and get some good shut eye. Learn more about good sleeping habits and tips here.
Sunshine to brighten our day
Many years ago, I went to a detox retreat in Turkey and I specifically remember one woman always sitting in the sun for at least an hour a day. She would often tell me to face the sun and absorb the rays.
Sunlight is another core element of physical wellbeing and our good mood feelings. In the winter, people can become affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and this reflects how the lack of sunlight can impact our mood and emotional setting.
Spending time outdoors to absorb some sunlight as it helps us feel good and provides essential Vitamin D. The key is to be safe in the sun and still reap the benefits.
Collectively, all the elements related to our physical wellbeing can be integrated to provide a sense of well-being and feel good factor. What steps will you be taking?
How organisations can support their staff
There are many ways in which companies can integrate this habit into the workplace. From having fitness events to arranging talks by professional on good nutrition through to fruit baskets, the options are endless.
To learn more about what you can do, get in touch with our consultants to discuss wellness @ work initiatives.