Build positive mental health

Thriving means feeling motivated, resilient, and ready to take on life’s challenges. From day 1 to 365, find your ways to Thrive all year long by exploring some of the tips below.

You can also visit UBC’s Wellness Centre year-round to get more wellbeing information, tips, and resources.

Be mindful, not mind full. 

Time seems to fly in our busy lives, as we juggle demanding jobs, school, responsibilities, social commitments, and household chores. Mindfulness is a way of pulling back to the present and living in the moment.

Take five minutes each day to stop “doing” and experience “being.”

Take a bath, quietly drink some tea, listen to music, meditate or pray. Try mindfulness meditation: sit in a comfortable chair. Empty your mind and focus on your breathing – the “in” breath, then the “out” breath. If your mind begins to wander, refocus on your breathing.

Get Moving
Good for your body and your mind

We know that exercise is great for improving fitness and maintaining a healthy weight but did you know it’s also a great stress reliever? People who exercise often report having less anxiety and exercise has also been shown to reduce mild depression. At what ever level you’re at exercise is important even when you feel there is no time to fit it in it will actually help you study or work more productively.

Wilson, Dr. R, BC Medical Journal, Vol. 51, No. 8, October 2009, page(s) 345 Council on Health Promotion…

Are you getting enough sleep to feel rested?

You might be getting 7 hours, but do you feel rested?

Although sleep guides tell us that adults usually need between 7 and 9 hours sleep the exact amount YOU need depends on many things including your lifestyle and health. Paying attention to your own sleep needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep can help you determine exactly what you need. Are you alive and kicking on 7 hours sleep or does it take 9 hours to really get to moving?

Have a laugh!

Did you know that laughing is actually good for your health?

Laughter has positive impacts on both our physical and mental health.  Laughter has been linked to healthy blood vessel functioning and increases heart rate and oxygen consumption.  It improves relaxation which can aid with better sleep.  Regular laughter reduces emotional tension and improves emotional connections and self-confidence.  Take in a comedy show, watch a funny movie or tell a joke to a friend!

Gilbert, R. (2014). Laughter therapy: promoting health and wellbeing. Nursing & Residential Care, 16(7), 392-395.

Bennett, Mary Payne and Cecile Lengacher. (2008) Humor and Laughter May Influence Health: III. Laughter and Health Outcomes. Evidence Based Complement Alternative Med., 5(1): 37–40.

Chikte, Anagha. (2012) Laughter Yoga Therapy & Stress Management.  Golden Research Thoughts, 2: 1-5.

Dugan, Daniel O. (2007) Laughter and Tears: Best Medicine for Stress.  Nursing Forum, 24:18-26.

Say thanks!

Have you thanked someone lately?

Practicing gratitude through thanking others or private acknowledgement has been linked to increased happiness, contentment, pride and hope.  Being grateful and expressing this in different ways can also make us more willing to help others. Send someone a thank you card or make a list of the people in your life you are grateful for. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that does wonders in supporting your brain health and your overall mental health. It boosts both dopamine and serotonin. Expressing the gratitude you feel extends the benefits.

Emmons, Robert A., and Michael E. McCullough.  Counting Blessings versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-being in Daily Life.   Journal of Personality and Psychology 2003, Vol. 84, No. 2, 377-389.