In part 1 yesterday I talked about the three primarily physical factors to nurture our wellbeing and happiness: Sleep, Nutrition and Physical Activity. Today, we're focusing on the primarily emotional and mental factors: Agency, Connection and Spirit.
Agency is all about our sense of power in our lives. Having a strong sense of agency is crucial to feeling that we can do, be and achieve things that bring us fulfilment. Without it, we can feel buffeted by life, circumstances and other people's actions and expectations. Connection is a vital part of being human. We are wired to be social animals and a lack of connection brings all sorts of problems, spanning physical, mental and emotional health. Spirt is all about having fun, finding space for the enjoyments and passions that make us feel alive.
Improving these enhances every aspect of our well-being and happiness. Here are some creative ways to achieve these goals:
Sense of Agency
Take on new challenges that push you out of your comfort zone and allow you to grow. What have you always wanted to try or to learn? Find a class, course or outlet and make a start.
Develop new skills and hobbies to expand your knowledge and confidence. Your capacity to learn is huge. Indulge it!
Practice positive self-talk and visualization techniques to boost your self-esteem. How we talk to ourselves has a huge impact on our emotions because it takes up a lot of our attention.
Set achievable goals for yourself and celebrate your accomplishments. If you typically brush over any success, stop and make a point of revelling in it.
Volunteer or engage in community service, or just help out a friend or acquaintance to feel a sense of purpose and contribution. Feeling wanted and useful is a lovely sensation.
Connection with Others
Join a club, class or organisation that aligns with your interests to meet like-minded people. Find a football group, local parents or other small business owners where you share something in common.
Attend social events or networking opportunities to expand your social circle. Everyone there wants to meet people, go be a part of that.
Practice active listening and empathy when engaging with others. Really focus on what they're saying rather than thinking about how you're going to respond - it will make the interaction much deeper.
Schedule regular catch-up calls or meetings with friends and family to stay connected. List out people you miss connecting with and work your way down the list over a few weeks.
Participate in group activities or team sports to foster a sense of camaraderie. Plan a night out with friends, a delicious meal with your partner or a home cinema with your family.
Incorporate play into your daily routine, whether it's through games, puzzles, or other activities that bring joy. Try pictionary, wordle or a tabletop puzzle.
Try new experiences or adventures, such as traveling to a new destination or trying a new cuisine. Pick a town you've never been to and plan up a day visit.
Laugh often and surround yourself with people who make you feel happy and uplifted. Ask people their funniest, happiest or most embarrassing experience from the last few weeks.
Embrace your creativity and engage in artistic pursuits, such as painting or writing. What did you love to do as a kid? Try that again!
Take breaks and allow yourself time to relax and recharge. Sit with a book, a cup of tea or go for a walk without your phone, guilt free.
Improving our sense of agency, connection with others, and level of fun has such a big impact on our overall well-being and happiness. Incorporating new activities and practices into your daily routine is a solid step to enjoying more personal growth, developing new and existing relationships, and enjoying life to the fullest.