If you are on a fitness or wellness journey, it can also be important to track your happiness as you work along it. For me, the ultimate measure of wellness is happiness. ‘How happy am I?’ should be a question that you ask often, to check in with yourself and assess your wellbeing. Perhaps make a habit of doing so a couple of times a week when you wake up.
Now I’m certainly not suggesting that I’m happy EVERY morning, having small children and hangovers can really dampen that for example. However, I like to operate an 80/20 rule with most things and I’m fortunate that 80% of the time I feel happy and positive.
A massive part of that feeling is due to the relationships I have with my family and the interpersonal relationships I have with friends and colleagues.
The close relationships we have with loved ones should provide an emotional support network for us. When it comes to wellness we know that mental wellbeing is as important as physical, and having a forum to share your worries and concerns is vitally important to manage our mental health.
For far too long there has been a stigma attached to men who vocalise their feelings. Thankfully, this is going away. However, it does still exist, and I see and feel it at times. Again, from a personal perspective I have found amazing solace and resolve through challenging times by sharing my emotions with my friends and family. Honestly, this is something that I have learned over time, and not something that I was as ready to share as a younger man, but something that has come with experience. However, this requires you to also be a ‘good listener’ as relationships are built on symbiosis.
A large part of maintaining healthy relationships is creating healthy habits that you can do together. I feel that sports and physical activities can be amazing bonding experiences. I am lucky to have great gym buddies that keep me accountable. There are many studies to support the fact that training together not only improves performance but also adherence. Basically, not only do you do better once you get to the gym, but you are more likely to make it there in the first place. I have a father who loves to play golf and so many of my fond memories with him are on the golf course, a tradition I cannot wait to continue with my son. I am also very fortunate to have a wife who loves to cook as a family. Again, these are skills we can pass down to our kids and I love to get mine involved in preparing delicious healthy food with us.
We are all definitely competitive but doing these things regularly together keeps us close and all of the above activities are fantastic for both physical and mental wellbeing. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel great, and creating these positive mental connections between exercise, healthy habits, fun, happiness and good times with family are crucial for us all.
Having those good people around you, that give you energy rather than take it away, can make all the difference to your wellbeing. Surround yourself with givers and where possible eliminate the “energy thieves’ from your circle. I know this is easier said than done sometimes but I truly believe that the people you surround yourself with are possibly the most important wellness decisions you will ever make.