Mental health experts advocate wellbeing as a way of improving our lives. Wellbeing helps us stay resilient, build social support and self-efficacy, and cope with. Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They' re wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression isn't a sign of. Feel happier and enjoy life more with these 5 evidence-based steps to improving your mental wellbeing.
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Or how to change your mood? Understanding your moods may help you work out what Getting enough sleep is vital. Long term sleep deficiency can affect your mood. You can improve your sleep quality Talking with a doctor or healthcare professional about your mental health issues will help you to feel comfortable and get the most appropriate treatment for your needs Worrying can be constructive if it helps you to work out possible solutions to a problem, but some people are troubled by excessive anxiety Farmer health, wellbeing and safety are often neglected when facing the pressures of harvest.
Simple safety measures can dramatically reduce the risk of injury and illness Negative emotions can dampen our enthusiasm for life, depending on how long we let them affect us The effort of trying to provide for the family and keep the farm going can be intensely stressful Self-harm and self-injury is when people hurt themselves on purpose, usually in response to intense emotional pain or negative feelings, thoughts or memories Stress affects people in different ways, but a balanced lifestyle can help you manage everyday stress Stress can affect your health and your life, so you need to know effective ways of dealing with your stress Throughout your life, the number and strength of your relationships affect your mental and physical wellbeing.
The benefits of social connections and good mental health are numerous. The quality of our personal relationships, not the size of our bank balance, has the greatest effect on our wellbeing Parents can help with bullying by supporting their child and involving the authorities to find solutions The expense of gifts and food, the pressure of shopping, and the expectations of the season can make Christmas an extremely stressful time Reach out to the world around you for fun, a sense of achievement, social contact and mental stimulation Researchers believe that many of the supposed age-related changes affecting the mind, such as memory loss, are actually lifestyle related Holidays are supposed to offer relaxation and recuperation, but some people find them disappointingly stressful Volunteering is great for our health — it makes us feel good, while helping others in the process Finding out you are pregnant can be a very exciting time.
But it can also make you feel uncomfortable, unwell, worried and make you wonder how you are going to cope. Experts say the key to living well into our 80s and 90s is making a commitment to live healthily. Check out these simple ideas and embrace your senior years! Stress is a common issue for all tertiary students, but there are lots of ways to manage your stress A clash of personalities at work is bad for business, because it can affect productivity and increase absenteeism Work-related stress causes an increase in sick days and absenteeism, a higher turnover of staff and a drop in productivity Help your child manage stress during exams by getting them to use good study habits, eat well, exercise, relax, sleep and keep things in perspective There are many people you can talk to who can help you overcome feelings of wanting to lash out Some people diet because they have a poor body image, not because they want to be a healthy weight The pressure on young girls and boys to be physically perfect is creating an epidemic of children and teenagers with low self-esteem and negative body image.
Reporter Flip Shelton introduces us to the Homosexual men and athletes are particularly vulnerable to poor body image or feeling insecure about their bodies Give your child opportunities to appreciate their body for what it can do, rather than what it looks like The urge to diet or use other dangerous weight loss methods is almost always prompted by feeling unhappy with body shape or size It is normal to disagree with each other from time to time and occasional conflict is part of family life As you get older, and go through puberty, you become more aware of your body and how it compares with others.
Puberty is a time when your body goes through lots of changes. This is the time your body changes from being a girl into being a woman Friendships are an important part of life, but many of us find it difficult to find, make or keep friends Cognitive behaviour therapy CBT can help you change unhelpful or unhealthy habits of thinking, feeling and behaving Fear is a natural human emotion, and it is something that everyone experiences in their lifetime.
What matters most is how you fight your fears, and whether you let them affect your life If emotional or behavioural problems are disrupting your life, it's important to seek professional help early Here are some tips to help you improve your mental fitness: Exercise for 30 minutes every day. Laughter has some great health benefits such boosting your immune system, lowering your blood pressure and reducing stress The Alexander technique stresses that movement should be economical and needs only the minimum amount of energy and effort The different smells and chemical constituents of aromatherapy oils can produce different emotional and physiological reactions Many people use controlled breathing to help promote relaxation and reduce the effects of stress Asking for help when you first suspect you have an alcohol or drug problem is important.
If you think you have an addiction, speak to your local doctor or phone DirectLine The relationship between stress and mental illness is complex, but it is known that stress can worsen an episode of mental illness Postnatal depression can happen either a few days or weeks after the birth, with a slow or sudden onset This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Mental Health Foundation of Australia.
Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional.
The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances.
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Some people believe that wealth is a fast track to happiness. Yet various international studies have shown that it is the quality of our personal relationships, not the size of our bank balances, which has the greatest effect on our state of wellbeing.
Keeping track of a population's wellbeing helps governments to decide on particular policies. Wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It is a complex combination of a person's physical, mental, emotional and social health factors. Wellbeing is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction. In short, wellbeing could be described as how you feel about yourself and your life. Factors that influence wellbeing Every aspect of your life influences your state of wellbeing.
Researchers investigating happiness have found the following factors enhance a person's wellbeing: Happy intimate relationship with a partner Network of close friends Enjoyable and fulfilling career Enough money Regular exercise Nutritional diet Sufficient sleep Spiritual or religious beliefs Fun hobbies and leisure pursuits Healthy self-esteem Optimistic outlook Realistic and achievable goals Sense of purpose and meaning A sense of belonging The ability to adapt to change Living in a fair and democratic society.
Factors are interrelated The factors that influence wellbeing are interrelated. For example, a job provides not just money but purpose, goals, friendships and a sense of belonging.
Some factors also make up for the lack of others; for example, a good marriage can compensate for a lack of friendships, while religious beliefs may help a person come to terms with physical illness. Wealth is not the key Money is linked to wellbeing, because having enough money improves living conditions and increases social status.
However, happiness may increase with income but only to a point. Many people believe that wealth is a fast track to happiness. But it's not true. Various international studies have shown that it is the quality of our personal relationships, not the size of our bank balance, which has the greatest effect on our state of wellbeing.
Believing that money is the key to happiness can also harm a person's wellbeing. For example, a person who chooses to work a lot of overtime misses out on time with family, friends and leisure pursuits.
The added stress of long working hours may also reduce a person's life satisfaction. Research shows that people who pursue 'extrinsic' goals like money and fame are more anxious, depressed and dissatisfied than people who value 'intrinsic' goals like close relationships with loved ones.
Wellbeing can be elusive Wellbeing is important, but seems a little hard to come by. One American study into mental health found that, while one in four respondents was depressed, only one in five was happy — the rest fell somewhere between, neither happy nor depressed. A recent Australian consumer study into wellbeing showed that: Measuring national wellbeing Measuring wellbeing in a population is difficult because the interpretation of wellbeing is so subjective — how you feel about your life largely depends on the way you see it.
Like the saying goes, one person's problem is another person's challenge. Australian researchers try to measure wellbeing in order to keep tabs on living conditions. A typical approach to measuring wellbeing is to count the number of individuals affected by a particular factor.
For example, it is helpful to keep track of how many people: Have cancer Are single, married or divorced Exercise on a regular basis Smoke or drink Are on unemployment benefits Are victims of crime Are unable to read or write. For example, knowing the average weekly income of a population helps to set the 'poverty line', which may then influence decisions on social welfare reform.
The result depends on what is measured Survey results tend to differ depending on what was measured. For example, an Australian survey of young people found that eight in every 10 reported feeling satisfied with their lives, including how they felt about their work, studies, income and relationships.
However, this positive picture is contradicted by another survey, which found that about half of all young Australians are grappling with a difficult problem such as depression or alcohol abuse. Wellbeing is a nebulous concept that is hard to pin down with graphs, charts and statistics. How to achieve wellbeing Develop and maintain strong relationships with family and friends.
Make regular time available for social contact. Try to find work that you find enjoyable and rewarding, rather than just working for the best pay. Eat wholesome, nutritious foods. Do regular physical activity. Become involved in activities that interest you. Join local organisations or clubs that appeal to you. Set yourself achievable goals and work towards them.
Try to be optimistic and enjoy each day. Boost your health Research shows people who volunteer have better health and wellbeing. Learn new skills Up for a challenge? Increase your network No doubt about it, volunteering helps us connect with others. Not ready to retire? Make new friends Loneliness can be detrimental to our health. A chance to give back Many people who have received help in the past, like to give something back to others.
Make a difference Helping others not only builds our esteem, but also widens our understanding of others. How to start Think about what you can offer. Be realistic Work out how much time you are willing to commit and stick to it. Think about location Where would you like to volunteer? Look close to home If you are after something informal, just help whenever you feel the need. Offer support There are loads of support roles out there.
Volunteer in an emergency Climatic events such as bushfires, floods, storms and drought can put a real strain on local resources and extra help is welcome. It's all about community Another way to meet others is to get involved in community events. Work one on one If working in a group is not your thing, you may prefer to spend quality time with someone on a one on one basis.
Buddy up with someone If you are hesitant or not feeling confident, volunteer with friends, work mates or family members — it's a great way to bond and share the gift of giving! Get in touch with the environment Being outdoors lifts our spirits and makes us physically active. Be creative Volunteering is not just about giving, look for novel ways to reward yourself.
Be charitable You may like to support the work of a charity organisation. Age doesn't matter Volunteers range from all ages. Ready to take the plunge? References Measuring wellbeing — frameworks for Australian social statistics [online], Australian Bureau of Statistics. Send us your feedback. Rate this website Your comments Questions Your details. Excellent Good Average Fair Poor.
Next Submit Now Cancel. It can be tricky when you first begin. The more you practice mindfulness the easier it becomes and the more benefits are felt. Find a quiet and comfortable space. Move onto the next part of your body until you work all the way up to your facial muscles and the top of your head.
Look at the way a tree bends, notice something beautiful like the shimmer of water in a puddle or lake, notice the sounds of your surroundings. Notice the smells and sounds of your surroundings. Enjoy the beauty and feeling of taking this time out to just 'be. Remember positive things that happened in your day, or recall a good memory when something great happened or you were appreciated for something.
Remember what it was like, the weather, the sounds, smells, the songs that were playing, how you were feeling — happy, proud, excited, calm or intense. Savouring gives deliberate and conscious attention to pleasure and enjoyment.
You might like to share an enjoyable experience with someone else. Listen to your favourite music. To sharpen your perception, close your eyes and savour the experience. Allow yourself to become completely absorbed. Practicing yoga is another way we can achieve greater wellbeing through improved health, clarity and greater self-awareness. Yoga is an ancient practice, developed in India over 2, years ago.
It explores the complex nature of humans and how our mind, body and spirit works together. Yoga uses a series of postures and breathing techniques to help us exercise, relax and meditate.
Anyone can give it a try. You can find a yoga teacher in most towns and suburbs, or you could play a DVD or find a good yoga teacher online. You might need to try a couple of different styles of yoga to find the one that suits you best. Our perception of time changes and we lose sense of self, pain, and worries. Gratitude can have enormous benefits in all aspects of life.
It helps us flourish at home, in relationships and at work. It helps us build positive emotions. Cultivating gratitude costs us little or no money, takes only small amounts of time and effort, yet it yields enormous benefits to ourselves and those around us. When we make time to celebrate the things we love and are thankful for, we are also living more mindfully.
When we live with gratitude, we start to appreciate all the things that make us who we are. Our constant heartbeat, our ability to sing or stretch or laugh.
The way our bodies move and carry us. Our friends and colleagues. Respecting and being thankful for even small things around us can enhance our energy, mental health and overall wellbeing. When someone receives our gratitude, we not only make ourselves feel good; we spread happiness and strength to the recipient.
When we recognise and appreciate the strengths in others it helps them feel positive about themselves too. Showing gratitude in our personal lives can also strengthen our closest relationships, opening up better communication and trust. People with strong social supports tend to be more resilient when dealing with challenges in life. Researchers have found links between gratitude and wellbeing. It can boost happiness and even reduce depression.
Showing gratitude over-rides negative and destructive emotions like anger, envy, frustration and regret. Spending 15 minutes writing in a gratitude journal at night can enable people to sleep better and longer. Studies have shown gratitude has a role in overcoming trauma. Recognising all you have to be thankful for, even at some of the toughest times in your life, can build your resilience. Developing an 'attitude of gratitude' makes us more optimistic and helps us celebrate all the things we can be thankful for, rather than focusing on the negative.
Optimism makes us happier, healthier and can even increase how long we live. Lifestyle factors like exercise, diet and sleep are associated with improved wellbeing and can influence our mental health. Have you noticed that going for a swim, dancing or playing a game of tennis makes you feel great? There are many proven benefits to building in regular exercise into your day. Many studies now show that exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Regular exercise could also involve developing or improving a skill say volleying in tennis or striking a goal in soccer. Mastering new skills helps build self-esteem and being in team sports can help us make new friends, increase life satisfaction and improve our mood.
There are also numerous health benefits in terms of weight management, cardiovascular health and fitness. More research is being undertaken into how physical exercise can buffer age-related cognitive decline.
Good nutrition is important for our health and wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fresh food, limited processed foods, and prebiotic and probiotic foods, has a major contribution to good health.
Nutritionists recommend diets with lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and with few processed foods or added sugars. Sleep needs vary across our ages and lifestyles. Good quality sleep and regular sleep patterns are crucial to our wellbeing. For more information on getting better sleep, go to the Australian Sleep Health Foundation.
A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. Authentic Happiness , University of Pennsylvania and links to signature strengths.
Pursuit of happiness , bringing the science of happiness to life. Skip to side navigation Skip to content. Clinical resources Wellness General wellbeing General wellbeing Mental health experts advocate wellbeing as a way of improving our lives.
It considers how we: Positive emotion Feelings of pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, comfort. Engagement Living an engaged life, being absorbed and connected to activities to the point where we lose track of time and effort flow. Relationships Connections to other people and relationships give us support, meaning and purpose in life. Accomplishment Pursuing success, achievement and mastery of things for their own sake can build self-esteem, self-efficacy useful in tough times and a sense of accomplishment.
The following elements all contribute to wellbeing and resilience: These fall under the following six categories: Wisdom creativity, curiosity, judgment, love of learning, perspective Courage bravery, perseverance, honesty, zest or enthusiasm Humanity love, kindness, social intelligence Justice teamwork, citizenship, fairness, leadership Temperance forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-control Transcendence appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humour, spirituality Interestingly, these six categories are valued in almost every culture.
Feel truly content We can also use our signature strengths to achieve pleasure and gratification through the activities we enjoy. Make a real difference We can use our strengths to serve something greater than ourselves, creating a more meaningful life and helping others.
How can I find out what my strengths are? Psychologist Martin Seligman tells us we all have our own signature strengths. A signature strength has the following features: Using your strengths in new ways Once you know what your strengths are, find a new way to use one or two of them. For example, if your signature strength is: Think about how applying your strengths in new ways makes you feel afterwards, ask yourself: Did it challenge and engage you?
Did you meet new people? Did you feel like you lost sense of time and self-awareness flow? Did you feel satisfaction or pleasure or enthusiasm?
Do you want to do it again? What does being in flow feel like? What are the benefits of flow? Csikszentmihalyi found that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of flow. How does mindfulness help us? Mindfulness can help improve: Other benefits of mindfulness Regular practice of mindfulness can: Mindfulness-based cognitive behaviour therapy Mindfulness is now the basis of mindfulness-based cognitive behaviour therapy CBT , an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.
Ways you can start being mindful in everyday life The key to increasing mindfulness is to keep trying. Try mindfulness meditation There are thousands of guided examples online and apps built just for this. Try this for a few minutes each day: Body scan meditation Find a quiet and comfortable space.
Take some breaths, and feel the muscles in that area relax. Have a walk outside This is a good one to do on a quick lunch break. Take time to notice aspects of a place in detail. Feel the sensation of your feet as they strike the ground. Feel the air on your skin. Take some deep breaths. Try to stay in the present. Let other thoughts go and enjoy this moment. Be outside and close your eyes Sit outside in the evening and simply close your eyes.
Remember the good times Remember positive things that happened in your day, or recall a good memory when something great happened or you were appreciated for something. Take some full breaths as you remember the scene and how you felt at the time.
Savour the moment Savouring gives deliberate and conscious attention to pleasure and enjoyment. Benefits of yoga Yoga slows your breath and helps you focus on the present.
We can't live without it, and we spend nearly a third of our entire lives doing it— yet few of us pay attention to the phenomenon of sleep. But research shows that. Wellbeing. Suggested activities, guidance and inspiration to help you find the balance When a hangover collides with anxiety, the result can be a rough time. Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and.