Wellness is a way of life, a conscious decision to strive toward a sense of well-being and a positive approach to life. There are six dimensions of wellness: Emotional, occupational, physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. To achieve a sense of wellness, all six of these dimensions should ideally be in harmony, increasing our overall sense of well-being.
January is Mental Wellness Month — a time to focus on the emotional and mental aspects of wellness. While conversations about wellness often focus on more physical details like diet, exercise and getting enough sleep, this month allows for the opportunity to think about conscious, deliberate ways we can increase our sense of mental wellness and overall sense of well-being.
To do so, consider the following tips:
- Go out of your way to be positive. Wellness is all about the deliberate effort to develop and maintain a positive approach to life. If you feel yourself heading into the negative — thoughts like “I’ll never finish this project” or “Nothing seems to work out” — make a conscious effort to switch your thinking to a positive perspective. A positive outlook can help you feel more relaxed and happier, and can lead to more success.
- Listen to how you talk to yourself. Switching to a positive outlook on the external factors of your life like work and relationships is helpful, but it’s also important to stop any negative self-talk you may engage in. This month, pay close attention to the way you talk to yourself. How hard are you on yourself? Do you allow yourself to make mistakes? Remember that no one is perfect and that it’s important to be kind to yourself, particularly in stressful, tense or difficult moments.
- Stay in the moment. Mindfulness, a meditative process that encourages staying aware in the present moment without judgment, can help ease stress and anxiety. Our lives are busy and hectic, sometimes to the point of chaos, and it can be hard to find mental wellness with all of the external stress. If you feel like you’re spread too thin or moving too quickly, stop and slow down — take a beat and notice what’s happening around you and stay present.
- Remember the link between the physical and the emotional. Our bodies and minds are connected — remember that diet and exercise can play a large role in our mental state of well-being. This month, take note of how what you eat, how much you sleep, and how often you exercise impacts your emotions and sense of mental wellness. Making sure to take care of yourself physically can greatly improve how you feel mentally.
- Ask for help. The support of a trusted friend or family member can go a long way. Set attainable goals for yourself and buddy-up with people in your life who have similar goals for themselves — this can be a powerful way to achieve the things you want and increase your sense of mental wellness. If you find you’re experiencing extreme difficulties feeling mentally well or symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders or other mental illnesses, reach out to a trained professional — expert therapists at The Family Institute can help provide the supportive care that leads to a more positive outlook on life.
The Family Institute offers affordable, effective mental health counseling for families, couples and individuals. Learn more about our services on our website.