Top Tips for Thriving

A recent report by the Mental Health Foundation found that only 13% of people reported living with high levels of good mental health, a shocking statistic that shows it’s time to take action to help us thrive as individuals rather than just survive.

Just as we take action to improve our physical health we need to take action to improve our mental health.  We all have mental health – it’s time we took care of it!

At Inspired to Change we’ve compiled our favourite tips to help you thrive in life:

Tip 1 – Spend Time with Family and Friends

Positive interaction with friends and family boosts our levels of feel good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin which is often referred to as the hugging hormone!  Oxytocin is our bonding hormone and helps to build strong relationships.  But we don’t have to go around hugging people to feel good! We get a hit of serotonin just from having a quick chat with someone behind the shop counter or smiling at someone as we pass them in the street. When we are feeling low we often isolate ourselves from others but one of the best things we can do to boost our mood is to re-connect.

Tip 2 – Find a Hobby

Our hobbies often give us purpose and meaning as well as a sense of accomplishment.  Sometimes they involve social interaction and exercise too but hobbies can also be things we do just by ourselves. They are our downtime. They focus our brain’s attention on things other than our daily worries so if you don’t have a hobby, or two, start asking around about what other people are doing and see if anything takes your interest.

Tip 3 – Get outside

Being outside in nature is fantastic for our mental wellbeing. People living near quality greenspace are twice as likely to report low psychological distress than those living in built up areas. So make the most of your lunch breaks and get outside for a bit of fresh air!  But you don’t have to live in the countryside to benefit from nature.  Even viewing nature from a window can increase our mental wellbeing.

Tip 4 – Keep Active

When we exercise it doesn’t just impact our physical wellbeing – it also has a positive effect on our mental wellbeing too.  When we exercise we release one of our feel good hormones, serotonin, along with another chemical called BDNF which holds the serotonin in our brain for longer – often referred to as “miracle grow for the brain”. Well worth taking that walk round the block for!

Tip 5 – Make plans and set goals

Having goals and plans to work towards is really important for giving us purpose, motivation and a sense of achievement.  They also give us something to look forward to and something to celebrate once we’ve achieved them.  When you set your goals make sure they are realistic but that they stretch you just a little bit outside your comfort zone – if it’s too easy you won’t feel a sense of achievement and if it’s too hard it will become another thing to stress about.

Tip 6 – Help others

Helping others is key to our mental wellbeing – when we do something that helps others we always feel good, it makes us feel needed and valued.  One study showed that 94% of volunteers reported an increase in their wellbeing through their volunteering work.  But we don’t have to sign up to be a volunteer – we can help our friends, family or neighbours with small tasks like gardening, shopping or even just a nice compliment.

Tip 7 – Learn something new

As a species we are constantly striving to learn new things – that’s how we evolved after all! Research shows that learning throughout life helps us to feel greater satisfaction and optimism. People who carry on learning after childhood report higher wellbeing and a greater ability to cope with stress. They also report more feelings of self-esteem, hope and purpose. But learning doesn’t have to mean signing up for an evening class – reading a book, visiting a museum, watching a TV programme or hearing someone give a talk.  Why not offer to take on a new task at work, or shadow someone doing a different job for a day?  Keep an eye out for opportunities to learn new things – it’s amazing what we don’t know!

Tip 8 – Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is as important to our wellbeing as food and water. When we sleep we don’t just restore our bodies, we restore our minds too.  Lack of sleep limits our brain’s ability to retain positive experiences and solve problems.  When we don’t sleep properly it leads to physical and mental health problems including impaired immune system, anxiety and depression. Make sure you give yourself time to wind down before bed and switch off all devices such as phones and ipads as the blue light they emit confuses our brains signals about it being time for bed.

Tip 9 – Eat healthy food

It isn’t just our bodies that need energy from food, it’s our brains too!  Our brains need about 500 calories a day to help them function at their best and they love slow release energy – foods like nuts, seeds, wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables as well as good quality proteins and oily fish.  So don’t forget to feed your brain as well as your body!

Tip 10 – Take a break

When we are busy we have a tendency to just keep on ploughing through in order to get everything done.  But we aren’t functioning at our best when we work in this way.  When we become fatigued we start making mistakes, we don’t react as quickly, we find it more difficult to take in information or retrieve information already stored in our brain.  So take small regular breaks in your days, take days off now and then and don’t forget to book in a holiday each year for a proper break away from normal routine.

If you aren’t thriving maybe it’s time to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist. Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Devon and Kent.

Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.

To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information