Why I focus on wellbeing first in the world of Sport Psychology…
In short, wellbeing is how you feel about yourself and your life and is linked to life satisfaction and happiness. A great place for us to start the support process before delving in to the next 2 areas (personal development and improving your performance).
Why do I need to think about my wellbeing?
Wellbeing is important because (as we mentioned above) it is related to life satisfaction. The more satisfied you are with your life, the more you will get out of each day. When you’re satisfied and content in life, you can also help to positively influence the people around you.
Another reason that I am keen to explore wellbeing is that it is linked to happiness. However, it is unrealistic for us to try and feel happy all the time (I often have conversations with people that want to stop feeling certain emotions and be happy all the time which is often an unrealistic expectation - the variety of emotions are there for a reason).
What we do know is that when you focus on your wellbeing:
you are able to feel content on a more regular basis…
you will build resilience to overcome life’s challenges and difficult experiences.
The 5 ways to wellbeing are always a great place to start (source: NHS website):
1. Connect with people - Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:
help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
provide emotional support and allow you to support others.
2. Be physically active - Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
raising your self-esteem
helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood
3. Present moment focus - Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body, and the world around you.
Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
4. Give to others - Acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by:
creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
helping you connect with other people.
It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.
5. Learn new skills - learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
boosting self-confidence and raising self esteem
helping you to build a sense of purpose
helping you to connect with others.
Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, or you may not need to learn new things, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life.
So, what can you do to help your wellbeing?
Collate a list of activities that you know help your wellbeing.
Aim to do one of them each day and begin to build it from there.
When we are in the world of sport, business, or high performance we can find it challenging to find the time for these things as we strive for better performance - however a lot of them only take a few minutes or are a part of your routine anyway
(you just hadn’t realised the benefits they have for your wellbeing).