A bit of time off from work this week and I'm thinking about happiness, contentment and other such things. Seeing some very special small people open Christmas presents with such joy on their faces was a real treat, particularly as it's not something many adults still experience, no matter how much money they spend on themselves. I was thinking about happiness and how people can 'chase' happiness or contentment, through experiences, substances or buying stuff (boots for me!). Yet perhaps people will only be as happy as they decide to be - nothing to do with how much they have, what they eat, drink or do. Once this is realised, and that you decide to make this moment happy, it will increase the chances of the next moment being happy too. Is happiness, therefore, a skill that can be learnt and practised, just like learning to drive or a play an instrument ? I'd love to hear what you think.
By the way, I got a hilarious book for Christmas - 'The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness'. Short and very funny! Highly recommended.
Finally, why not book your place on the next mini retreat on 16th January 2016? We'll be focusing on learning to 'switch off' effectively, for a healthier body and mind. A great start to the new year!
When was the last time you learnt something new? Not just an interesting fact (did you know that there are more lifeforms living on your skin than there are people on the planet?) but a brand new skill.
The final part of the 5 ways to well-being series is keep learning. How about learning a new skill by signing up for a course? You could learn a musical instrument, a new recipe, or a new craft. I recently learnt how to use a lathe and made a honey dibber; naturally, I was exceptionally proud of myself (and expected everyone else to be too!). I had such a great time and was entirely immersed in the task.
It's a great time of year to think about new things - new ideas, new plans, and new ways of thinking. Learning new skills that are enjoyable and achievable can have a positive impact on your confidence levels and help you to have more fun.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about all this learning is that you can also learn lots about yourself in the process. And what could be more fascinating than that?!
Part 4 already?! Must be nearly Christmas...!
This week is all about connecting. Connecting with the people around you, whether that's family, friends, colleagues, neighbours or someone else. Building these connections will have such a great impact on your sense of well-being and the support you feel; it can really help to enrich your life every single day.
How to do it though... It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, or overly friendly/creepy. Start with a smile! Saying hello to people, asking how they are, listening to the answer (rather than jumping in with stories about you!), or sending a quick message to someone you haven't seen in a while, just to say hi and that you're thinking about them. And, if you're so inclined, giving a hug, holding hands, or putting an arm around someone can boost well-being further - according to research, human touch can very quickly bring stress levels down.
Invest time and energy in developing them, for your own and others' good. We're social animals and we all need varying levels of connection to thrive.
And if all else fails, watch 'Only Connect'!
My favourite one of the 5 ways to well-being is about being active. Get outside and walk in the fresh air, go to a park and play on the swings, climb a tree (yes, really!), jump on a trampoline, go swimming, do some stretches while you're waiting for dinner to cook, dance, do some gardening, jog with the dog, clench your buttocks while you're at a desk... OK, not a very active one, but it's a good start, especially if you sit down all day (and your only exercise is walking to the toilet!). There are so many ways to get your body moving - it's just about finding the right one for you and your level of mobility. And, of course, there's always the option of coming to one of my classes, where your body will get a complete work-out and your mind can relax and forget about your day.
If you're looking for a more challenging question, ask yourself this: are you active, or are you just busy? Lots of people have busy, full-on lives, which makes them believe they are physically active. But being busy and being active are not the same thing, and being busy can mask how little physical activity you are actually doing. If you feel wiped out at the end of the day, is it because you have been busy, or is it because your body is nicely tired from activity?
Finally, while it's great for your body to be active, remember to relax and recover too! Hopefully, increased physical activity levels will help you rest and sleep better. But if you find winding down and truly relaxing a bit tricky, why not try my next mini retreat?! You can even buy a gift voucher for someone else too.
I'm off to enjoy the sunshine and have a little walk around the park. I might try out the swings too!
Part 2 of the pre-Christmas mini series on well-being, and this week it's about taking notice. Being aware of your surroundings, noticing what's going on around you and how you feel about it, catching sight of the beautiful, and remarking on the unusual.
I'm currently sat on a train going to Bristol, passing through the delightful Wiltshire countryside... and so far I've seen numerous kites (of course!), some deer, alpacas and a beautiful front door on a farm house. I purposely didn't bring anything to do for the journey so I could just stare out of the window. (Irony noted...!)
I love the idea of being curious too. In an age when, if you don't know the answer to something you can find out in seconds, it's sometimes more enjoyable to ponder than to simply know. Shoot the breeze... Chew the cud... Sit and wonder...
So what about you: what have you noticed? What has caught your attention or gaze? What are you pondering? Reflecting on your experiences can really help you appreciate what matters to you, and relaxing your gaze, listening to nothing, or letting your mind drift can be very uplifting. Give it a whirl!
P.S. We raised over £1400 at The Purbeck Workshop Race Night and Exhibition last weekend!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
|Fitness and well-being provider||
Clean Well-being blog