By Seraine Page, www.totalwellnesshealth.com
As the saying goes, money really doesn’t buy happiness.
So, how does one come by happiness?
By learning how to improve mental wellness on a consistent basis through positive thoughts and behaviors.
According to Mayo Clinic, thoughts and behaviors — along with personality — can be attributed to how “happy” a person is on any given day. Luckily, even if our genes say otherwise, learning to create self-happiness is possible.
Whether you prefer to see the glass half full, practice meditation, or learn to be present, there are a few ways to feel more in control of your personal happiness.
Ready to cultivate your happiness and improve your mental wellness? Read on.
Learn About the Happiness Myths
Happiness doesn’t just happen. It must be cultivated and practiced. Overall life satisfaction paired with learning to be in the moment can help you discover joy in your everyday life. Leaning too much into the notion that any one material possession or moment creates contentment will often lead to disappointment.
Common happiness myths:
More wealth creates a happier life
Material possessions increase self-worth
Relationships mean automatic happiness
Older age contributes to unhappiness
The truth about happiness is that it can take on many forms, but most people experience it when they actively practice it.
Wealth can create a more comfortable life, but it doesn’t necessarily equal a happier life. Material possessions may bring instant gratification which tends to fade after time. Healthy relationships that are nourished and invested in can grow and contribute to happiness —only if it’s not one-sided.
And, old age doesn’t automatically mean depressive episodes through the golden years. In fact, a 20-year-long Australian study found that post-menopausal women actually tend to find happiness the older they get. The elderly in general tend to have a more positive outlook on life, another study suggests.
Tips On How to Improve Mental Wellness
So, how do you beat the happiness myths and discover true ways to improve your mental wellness?
Research and recent studies show there are quite a few ways. Happiness and mental wellness go hand in hand. Additionally, social relationships, along with steady mental and physical health, are actually what matters most when it comes to happiness.
Here’s a look at a few easy ways to best improve mental wellness daily:
Why Nature is Calling Your Name
If you notice you tend to feel happier outdoors, it’s no coincidence. Scientific studies from the UK recently revealed those who spent time in green spaces reduce their risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stress. The study found those who live near undeveloped land with natural vegetation generally have more opportunity to socialize and do physical activity — both of which are paramount to good mental health.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Consuming vegetables and fruits isn’t just good for your waistline — it can improve your mental well-being, too. Recent research in Social Science & Medicine revealed that those who consume fruits and veggies often see improved physical health and better short-term mental health, too.
Reduce Your Workload and Hours
There’s no doubt that the more work you have piled in front of you, the more stressed out — and unhappier — you are, right? Studies show that stressed-out employees are more likely to have sleep problems, physical fatigue, and reduced productivity levels. If possible, minimize or reduce overtime hours to see stress levels drop off.
Quiet Your Mind
When was the last time you sat down to collect your thoughts? Taking pause and being mindful of reactions and responses can lead to feelings of overall happiness and well-being, studies show. Aside from improving immunity, mindfulness is a great tool to take pause from everyday life stresses. Improved mental clarity and emotional intelligence are a few of the benefits of practicing mindfulness, which can lead to increased levels of joy.
Strike a Yoga Pose or Two
Feeling uptight and off-balance mentally and physically? Yoga is a natural fit for those looking to be more present, especially with its heavy focus on breath work in the moment. Evidence shows yoga can be a low-risk way to introduce a mindfulness practice into an effective workout routine. Since yoga combines multiple self-soothing techniques including socialization, meditation, and relaxation, it’s an excellent way for individuals to improve overall wellness, including mental health.
Creating Mental Happiness in the Workplace
Luckily for most company budgets, employees don’t necessarily need a raise to make them happy. What’s even more effective? Work-life balance, wellness programs, and socialization opportunities that can lead to better mental health and happiness for workers.
Get creative, too. Anything that can change up the normal work routine can spark creativity and productivity.
Here’s a few ways you can teach employees how to improve mental wellness:
Host weekly yoga sessions in-house
Practice mindful Mondays
Share self-care tips via newsletters
Volunteer as a team
Take one walking meeting a week outdoors
Host a lunch and learn with a psychologist
While happiness is ultimately a personal choice and responsibility, it doesn’t hurt for employers to pitch in when it comes to contributing to workplace aspects that could positively impact mental health and happiness.
By providing opportunities for employees to work on learning how to improve mental wellness, it gives them the potential tools that they may not know where to find elsewhere.