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Library Service Blog

Wellbeing Wednesday - H is for happy!

by Kate Parr on 2022-06-15T09:30:00+01:00 | Comments

Welcome to Wellbeing Wednesday in the Library! Each Wednesday, we will be featuring books or web-based information to help support your wellbeing.

Let's talk about happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind, or is it? Arguably, some people are predisposed to be happier than others and it is down to hereditary genes; their genetic makeup means that they have certain characteristic, such a resilience, optimism and advantageous cognitive styles that enable them to feel happier but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your HAPPY! By changing your outlook, beliefs and the choices you make you can positively uplift your mood and mental wellbeing.

Undoubtedly, life can throw challenges and adversity our way, affecting how we feel from one minute to the next, but we can still have some control over how we approach personal circumstances, financial situations, and the struggles we face.

Recently, the Insight Network Mental Health Report (March 2019,) has reported a prevalent rise in students mental health illnesses, and an increase in the number of students seeking professional help for personal, behavioural, mental and emotional problems (42.3% of survey respondents. Insight Network, 2020). These mental health difficulties have been attributed to stress, loneliness, academic & financial pressures, socio-economic status and lack of familial support (Insight Network, 2020). Whilst feelings of despair, anxiety and depression are not uncommon, there are steps you can take to improve your outlook and reduce negative emotions.

Firstly, don’t keep things to yourself; not coping isn’t a weakness! Often sharing your feelings and worries with someone else, family, a close friend or a tutor can help to lift the burden and enable you to get a different perspective on things. Alternatively, you can reach out to professionals: wellbeing services, helpline services and online support. 

Also, learn to live more in the moment and be accepting of things as best as you can; try mindfulness activities to help restore your equilibrium. Take a minute or two to relax and swich off your busy overworked mind; this can help you to feel calmer and more present to deal with personal circumstances, emotions and situations.

Avoid comparing yourself to others as everyone’s experiences are unique to them and you shouldn’t equate your happiness to living up to the merits and standards achieved by others. Scrolling social media portrays endless seemingly happy news and it’s easy to think that you are not having such a good time, but the reality is not everyone is happy all the time! Generally only the good stuff is shown and it isn’t necessarily a true reflection of what’s really going on. Put away your distractions and focus on the positives and what you can do to change your situation. Here are a few more resources to encourage you to think more about your happiness. 

Build your resilience to enable you to cope better in life. Diminish those negative thoughts and big yourself up! It can give your confidence a boost and enable you to have more belief in yourself and your abilities. It’s much better to tell yourself ‘you can do this’ rather than think you are not good enough and can’t accomplish something. The less time you spend thinking negatively the more likely you are to feel happier.

Take more care of your physical and mental wellbeing. Make sure you eat well to stay fit and healthy and incorporate activities that you enjoy into your lifestyle as this can help to boost your mood. Also try to get more sleep as you’re unlikely to feel at your best if you are tired and run down. Create a better work life balance and make time to destress, unwind and feel more content. Book a wellbeing appointment to help you create a plan to help you focus on the things that are important to you, or try the wellness wheel to help you identify what is important.

Our wellbeing levels can differ at different times, and it is OK to ask for support. Each of us may prefer to get support in different ways. Reading or researching around an issue, connecting with a group whether it be in person on online or speaking on a one to basis with a trusted ally. Find out more about Student wellbeing, support and activities at: https://www.shu.ac.uk/wellbeing/whats-on-in-wellbeing 


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