Recent surveys show that 54% of Brits have rising stress levels, and that 8 in 10 US workers are feeling under increasing pressure at work. Many of us, it seems, are so consumed by what we’re doing that it’s affecting our health and happiness.
Not surprising, then, that talk about wellbeing is also in vogue. At a macro level ill health and less than great productivity affects the economy at a time when it’s still getting back to pre-recession performance.
And while all the high-level, organization level stuff is interesting to me, I’m more interested here in what you, as an individual leader, entrepreneur or creative can do to support your own personal wellbeing. Because, the way we look at it, it’s fundamental to your ability to innovate, compete and perform at your best out there in the world.
If you don’t nurture it, I’d argue, you’re under-performing. Indeed you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.
But what is wellbeing? So, the Oxford Dictionary puts it this way:
I’d go a little further than that.
Way I see it, wellbeing is a measure of how you feel about your life. It’s a holistic thing that has deep roots in all areas of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
If you Google the word “Wellbeing”, you’ll come up with about 52 million results. Look at a lot of the key articles and they’ll talk to you about the tools you can use to help you in your quest for wellness. Of course, so many of us are so keen to improve our wellbeing that we’ll try all kinds of things. A lot of them are not sustainable. Here’s why:
So much of the advice is written on the assumption that wellbeing as a place to achieve; something you can work towards if only you follow this or that anti-stress tactic.
But what if that was wrong?
What if wellbeing is something we already have? A place to come from. Our natural preset position. A state you can nurture and enhance.
Regardless of your current health or happiness, just notice how it feels to consider that you’re already okay. That there’s nothing you need to do or to fix in order to be well. Take the pressure off yourself to try to be well, and just be well already!
That framing kind of changes everything.
From that place, then, we believe there are 4 ways in which you can enable and support your wellbeing. They are:
- Develop a few core practices that enable wellness. These could be as simple as limiting the amount of coffee or alcohol you drink each day; observing routine bedtime and waking up time; drinking a couple of litres of water a day; avoiding sugar.
- Develop your consciousness about the quality of your thinking. Thought, as we’ll find out, is one of the fundamental principles of life. It’s a never-ending stream that flows through our brains. That’s a given and, at core, it’s not the problem. The problem is then what we think about our thinking, and the affect that has on us at a feeling level.
- Create some basic habits and rituals to keep your wellbeing a priority for you. This moves wellbeing-supportive behaviors from the realm of chore, to the realm of routine and therefore makes them things you do automatically.
- Reframe what it means to you to be successful. Many professionals have big ambitions. No harm it that. But sometimes we attach conditions to our ambitions that make these once laudable goals toxic and therefore stressful to achieve.
If there’s one of these that weighs more heavily than the others, it’s the point about thinking. We’ll be digging into this, and saying why in the weeks to come. So make sure you don’t miss the subsequent articles by getting your name on our VIP email list here!
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