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Unlocking Happiness: A Guide to Boosting Mental Wellbeing Every Day

It is almost at the end of May which has marked as Mental Health Awareness Month.  – We wanted to leave you with practical tools and a deeper understanding of how to live your best life every day.  We have created a guide that will help you move towards unlocking every day happiness. The guide will help you focus on your wellbeing, a critical aspect of overall health that influences how we think, feel, and act. It encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affecting how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Taking time to focus on our mental well-being can lead to a happier, healthier, life.  It’s as simple as discovering daily practices that foster happiness, health, gratitude, and love for your life. The guide defines what mental wellbeing is. It highlights key research in the field (it’s science!), and provides a step-by-step approach to enhancing your personal wellbeing through actionable daily practices. The best part is that it includes our favourite daily practice – small acts of giving.

unlocking happiness

Understanding Mental Wellbeing

What is Mental well-being?

Mental well-being is the state of being happy, healthy, and satisfied with life. It involves the balance of mental health, which is not just the absence of mental illness but the presence of positive characteristics such as the ability to enjoy life, resilience to stress, and the ability to work productively. It’s crucial to not only understand but practice personal and social well-being, to grow our capacity to handle life’s challenges. In short, wellbeing can be described as how you feel about yourself, how you feel inside and about your life.

Why It Matters

Our mental wellbeing affects every aspect of our lives. It influences our ability to build and maintain relationships, perform at work, or school, and engage in community. High mental wellbeing results in increased productivity, improved physical health, and stronger social connections. Conversely, poor mental wellbeing can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, negatively impacting all areas of life.

Mental Wellbeing vs. Mental Health

While often used interchangeably, mental wellbeing and mental health are not the same. Mental health refers to our mental state, encompassing conditions like depression and anxiety. Mental wellbeing, however, is about how we feel and function day-to-day, covering a broader spectrum that includes positive emotions, life satisfaction, and a sense of purpose.

Research in “The British Journal of Psychiatry” discusses the importance of distinguishing mental well-being from mental illness. It suggests that, while they are related, each has unique determinants and impacts on health outcomes.​ (Cambridge)​.

The Science Behind Mental Wellbeing

Scientific research supports the numerous benefits of prioritizing mental wellbeing. Studies indicate that individuals with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive, have stronger immune systems, and enjoy better physical health.

  • Individuals with high mental wellbeing are 20% more likely to report higher job performance.
  • Regular mindfulness practice can reduce symptoms of depression by 58%.

The Daily Practices of Mental Wellbeing

Incorporating daily practices into your routine can significantly enhance your mental wellbeing. These practices are simple, actionable steps that can be easily integrated into daily life. Engaging in daily practices promotes emotional stability, enhances cognitive function, and fosters a sense of purpose. Consistently practicing these habits can lead to long-term improvements in mental wellbeing. Let’s get started with our guide

boost wellbeing

Step-by-Step Guide to Boosting Mental Wellbeing Every Day:

Step 1: Understanding Your Mental State

Begin by assessing your current mental state. Reflect on your emotions, stress levels, and overall mood. Being aware of how you feel is the first step to changing your emotions to make you feel happy and connected to the life around you.

Step 2: Set a Simple Intentional Achievable Goal

If we want to feel better, we need to start with the simple intention of wanting to feel better. This is a simple acknowledgement every morning when we wake up. “My intention is to find ways to feel good today.” That’s your first win to moving forward. It’s simple, you’re setting your mind to look for the good and it’s achievable before you even get out of bed.

Step 3: Discover your Daily Habits / Practices

Happiness, what we love and how we get there is different for everyone. Below, we will give you many ideas, but you have to find what works for you (science tells us this) and it will change from day to day. Start answering these questions for your self:

  • What makes me happy?
  • What do I love?
  • What are good choices for my health? Exercise, food?
  • How can I connect in a positive way with people around me?

Step 4: Mindfulness

Good news – you don’t have to sit down and meditate for hours. But it can be simple and possible to incorporate into your life every day.

  • This can include meditation – while gardening (my favourite), doing the dishes, or walking the dog, it doesn’t have to be sitting still crossed-legged on a mat.
  • Breathing breaks. Start with just 3 big breaths at different intervals during the day. It will calm your nervous system, reduce your stress, and make you present in the moment. That’s mindfulness – being present right where you are.
  • Look Around: simply take a few moments to be present and aware of your surroundings. What can you see that brings you a moment of happiness? You know that saying, stop and smell the roses. Put it into practice.

Step 5: Staying Active

  • Physical activity is crucial for mental well-being. Engage in regular exercise, whether it’s a daily walk, yoga, or a more intense workout.

Step 6: Maintaining Social Connections

  • Strong social connections are vital for mental health. Spend time with friends and family, join community groups, participate in social activities, or volunteer

Actionable Ideas for a Daily Wellbeing Practice

Day 1: Practice Gratitude

Write down three things you’re grateful for. Reflecting on positive aspects of your life can improve your mood and outlook.

Day 2: Small Acts of Giving

This is our favourite way to stay happy and connected to the world around us. Give back: science tells us being of service, even in small ways to people, the planet, or animals, makes us feel love, happiness, and full of life. A simple, small, intentional practice will put love in action, giving your life purpose and meaning.

Day 3: Meditate for 10 Minutes

Spend 10 minutes meditating to clear your mind and reduce stress. Use the apps we suggested and do it in a way that works for you. Sitting, walking, and running. Just a few minutes for your heart and mind.

Day 4: Take a Nature Walk

Spend time outdoors to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and natural surroundings. A great time to breathe. A great time to connect with nature and remember the beauty in our world.

Day 5: Write in a Journal

Journaling can help you process emotions and reflect on your experiences. This can be your time to identify your emotions. Practice gratitude and answer the questions we asked above. What do you love? What makes you happy? What was good in the day? How do you feel? What was good in the day today?

Day 6: Connect with Others

This can be hard some days. We are busy and overwhelmed, we don’t have time for ourselves, and making time for others seems impossible. But we have this tool at our fingertips called a phone. Send a text, plan a workday lunch break, walk together, book a time in your schedule to chat, or do something as simple as stopping and giving another a helping hand. Or first thing in the day – buy a coffee for the next person in line. These simple connections are essential to a happy life.

Want to Learn More about Unlocking Happiness?

Several experts have dedicated their careers to understanding and improving mental well-being. Their research and insights provide valuable guidance on how we can enhance our mental state. Our guide is just the beginning of our wellbeing journey. It’s a daily practice and the more we understand how to manage our own emotions and wellbeing, the happier life we will have.

Key Experts to Learn About Wellbeing

  • Dr. Martin Seligman: Known as the father of Positive Psychology, Dr. Seligman’s work focuses on the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. His PERMA model (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment) is a cornerstone in the study of mental well-being.
  • VideoDr. Barbara Fredrickson: A leading researcher in the field of positive emotions, her Broaden-and-Build Theory suggests that positive emotions expand our cognitive and behavioral repertoire, building personal resources over time.
  • Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky: Her research emphasizes the science of happiness, exploring how simple, intentional activities can significantly boost happiness and mental well-being. Her book, The Myths of Happiness is a great inside view of what makes us happy and what doesn’t.

Recommended Podcasts and TedTalks

Apps for Mental Wellbeing and Mindfulness

Every day, we carry with us an amazing tool that can help our mental well-being at any moment in time – it’s called our phone. Why not use your phone to fuel your well-being vs distracting you from being present in your life? Fuel your mind, heart, and soul with these great apps to calm your mind and help you create a daily practice to fuel your happy life.

  • Calm
  • Headspace
  • Insight Timer
  • Habit

Let’s Have a Beautiful Life

Boosting mental well-being is a journey that requires consistent effort and dedication. By incorporating daily practices such as mindfulness, physical activity, and social connections, along with the powerful habit of daily giving, you can enhance your mental health and overall happiness. Remember, small, intentional actions every day can lead to significant improvements in your mental well-being. Start today and experience positive changes in your life.

Join the 365give community and become part of a global movement to spread happiness and well-being every day.

Read on for more great articles on mental health, happiness, and well-being.

Giving, Trust and Happiness – The Trifecta of Wellbeing

 

Your How-To-Guide For Wellbeing At Work

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)