5 small ways to improve your mental health

In support of Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2019, we wanted to press pause and share some stories from around the WEA as well as our guide to mindfulness. 

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Mental health problems can affect anyone, without warning, without reason, any day of the year.


5 Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Day

Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment. It is a simple idea that’s hard to achieve, but can be a great tool to help you when we’re feeling overwhelmed by what is going on around us. 

Notice the small everyday things
Amongst the noise of the world and our minds it is easy not to notice the small everyday things. But stopping to notice the birds singing or the softness of your jumper can be enough to interrupt the autopilot – to wake us up. Next time you have a minute, stop and have a look round, maybe there sun is making a nice pattern on the floor, maybe your cuppa is just the perfect strength. 
 

Build a routine 
The easiest way to be more mindful is to make it part of your day. Maybe you decide to sit for a quietly for a minute when you first wake up, perhaps you take a walk at lunchtime. It doesn’t matter when you choose, but keeping it regular helps make a habit. 

Try something new
At the WEA 82% of our students report an increase in mental wellbeing after attending a course. But trying something new doesn’t have to require much effort, try sitting in a different seat or eating something different for breakfast – little things can help you see the world in a new way. 

Thoughts vs feelings
Our thoughts and feelings are often tangled sometimes naming these things (I am worried – feeling or This is my first day – thought) can help give some perspective on what is happening and how you feel. 

Just breathe
Remember that you just have to get through this second and then the next. Before you know it the seconds have rolled into minutes and in turn into hours and just because you decided to breathe. Sometimes counting your inhales and exhales is all it takes to bring you back to the moment. 


You can read some of our case studies highlighting how our courses can improve mental health below:

Richard's story: Back from the Brink
Yvette's story: Reawaken Your Lust for Life
David's story: Walking Back to Happiness


WEA courses on Mindfulness:
 

Mindfulness : Bradford

Meditation and mindfulness : Derby

Confidence and mindfulness : Dudley

Mindfulness yoga : Leicester

Introduction to mindfulness : Wigginton

For more information on mental health issues, please visit: 

•    Mind at https://www.mind.org.uk/
•    Mental Health Foundation at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
•    NHS Mood Zone at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ 

You can share your mental health stories on Twitter with the official hashtag #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

If you feel one of our courses could be beneficial for you, pop your postcode in the search box below.

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