Mental Health & Wellbeing

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Mental Health & Wellbeing

So yesterday I attended a business event at Leeds Trinity University about health & wellbeing – great to see such a good turn out for an important subject!

Three speakers each had 10 minutes to cover their chosen topic and all focused on the simple (and most importantly, free!) ways we can be happier and healthier.

First Stefanos Matrakoukas ( explained that 95% of our serotonin is produced in the stomach so if we aid our digestion then we can improve our prospects of being happier and having more energy. The simple way to do this is to chew each mouthful of food 50-60 times – try it and see if it works!

Stefanos’ second top tip is a gentle movement which can help you feel more focused and alert after doing it. It’s a little hard to describe without a picture but here goes:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Inhale and bring your arms up above your head
  • Exhale and bring your right elbow down and your left knee up until they meet in the middle of your body
  • Inhale and stretch out again (arms above head)
  • Exhale and alternate so that your left elbow and your right knee meet
  • Do this 5 or so times

Second Vera Woodhead ( explained how taking 5 minutes in the morning to list 3 things you’re grateful for and 3 things you’re good at can improve your mood and support a positive outlook throughout the day. For maximum benefit it’s good to repeat the exercise at the end of the day and adding a note of 1 kind gesture you made that day. Share on Twitter using #3things and see what others say.

If you want to take the kind gestures further (this not only makes others smile, it improves our own feelings of purpose & socialising) then you can pass on ‘random acts of kindness’ which can be anything from complimenting a stranger’s outfit to buying a suspended coffee to benefit someone who is homeless or vulnerable. For more ideas Vera recommends reading The Art of Happiness (Dalai Lama).

Finally Dr Ian Kenvyn ( gave us tips on how to become what he calls a ‘Happy Stealth Exerciser’ – very simple and easy to encourage others to do. Dr Ian’s presenting at our next Network meeting on 9th July so email to book yourself a place and find out more!

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