Mental wellbeing improves the quality of our lives in many ways including better physical health, faster recovery from illness, fewer limitations in daily life, higher educational attainment, greater likelihood of employment and earnings, and better relationships.
We all get stressed at times; positive stress can help us achieve a goal, but can’t be sustained. Negative, self-defeating stress has a negative impact on our psychological and mental wellbeing. Try not to worry or get stressed out over your course work / relationships / finances whilst you are here. However, if you do find yourself getting stressed, try the following:
Chill out - make sure you take some “me” time out to do whatever helps you relax
Talk - talking about your concerns can help to keep them in check
Exercise - it releases natural chemicals which make you feel better
Get organised - keep a diary, plan your time, get a budget...you get the idea
Avoid - too much caffeine or alcohol as this can make feelings of anxiety worse
Relax - deep breathing can help you feel calmer
Relaxing well or sleeping well are key to looking after your mind-body Wellbeing and more information can be found by clicking through the links. Linking with friends can be invaluable too.
If you are worrying about your studies try talking to your Academic Tutor or for non-academic queries visit Firstpoint and they will guide you to the right person, or book an appointment with the counselling and Mental Health Service to talk things through before they overwhelm you. As a member of staff, try talking to your line manager if you have concerns you want to discuss or contact Human Resources if you would like to access external counselling support.
Research has demonstrated that happiness is a key factor in wellbeing and feeling good. As your happiness increases you become more compassionate, more creative, more energetic and more emotionally and physically healthy.
- Tell one of your closest friends or family members how pleased you are to have them in your life
- Check in with someone who needs a bit of support and ask if they are ok
- Write and send a letter to someone expressing your appreciation for something significant they have done to or for you
- Enjoy an evening meal with friends/partner without any disruptions phones or devices
- Write a list of the positives in your life as opposed to focusing on the negatives
- Remember experiences make you happier in the long run, rather than material goods
- Make a conscious effort to smile at people you see
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques such as meditation, breathing and yoga. Mindfulness exercises help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environments, so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, you are able to manage them.
Mindfulness training increases activity within the area of the brain responsible for positive emotions. Research has found that Mindfulness can also help with:
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Addictive behaviours
- Improving your ability to work productively
- Reducing your sickness levels
A quiet place
Sometimes you need a quiet place where it is easier to think and there are a number of areas on campus for you to find. At St Johns Campus there is the small garden beside Woodbury or why not walk the labyrinth, which provides a walking meditation area, enabling you to reflect and relax. On city campus, walk down the hill and rest on the grassy banks overlooking the racecourse and river, or if you are at Riverside go for a walk along the river bank.
Don’t think you are alone; we have lots of support and guidance that can help you manage and understand stress. Don’t forget to talk to family and friends. If you would like help or advice on dealing with stress or improving your mind-body wellbeing please contact email@example.com (for students) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively you could contact Samaritans on email@example.com.
Mental Health matters....be mindful of yours.
The content of our Think for Wellbeing page has been reviewed by our Mental Health and Wellbeing Champion, Steve Wilding and Senior Counsellors Rod London and Clare Nield.