A sense of well-being is the foundation for physical and emotional health, and helps us overcome adversity and achieve our goals in life. People with high levels of well-being report feeling capable and happy with their lives and are more likely to be engaged and productive at work, more satisfied in their jobs, and less likely to burn out. They even have a decreased risk of disease and tend to live longer.
Our sense of well-being is influenced by a host of factors including our attitudes and outlook on life, past experiences, personal relationships, financial stability, physical health, and sense of belonging, purpose, and meaning. You can achieve well-being by taking care of your body and mind, as the two are not separate and what affects one also affects the other. An example of this is when you’re feeling so stressed, you get headaches or sick to your stomach. Conversely, when you’re not physically well, you may also feel irritable and depressed. As B.K.S. Iyengar, a noted author and yoga teacher, once said, “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit.”
Here are some ways to enhance your well-being:
- Nurture strong social connections with family and friends. Personal relationships help you feel supported and reduce loneliness and isolation.
- Take care of your body by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Physical exercise not only helps to increase endurance, strengthen your immune system, control weight, and prevent or manage many health conditions, but it also improves mood.
- Express gratitude. Studies show that taking the time to reflect on what we’re grateful for improves our mood and quality of life. Start by setting aside a few moments at the end of the day to list three things you’re grateful for, both big and small.
- Find your purpose. What things do you look forward to? What gives your life meaning? For some people, their career is their calling. For others, it may be volunteer work, creative pursuits, involvement in organizations or clubs, or spiritual practices.
- Appreciate the small things. Practice mindfulness, or being fully present in the moment, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life: the food you eat, the sunshine on your face, conversations with friends.
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