BEFORE an aircraft takes off, the airline flight attendants always demonstrate how passengers should respond to any onboard emergencies. During this safety exercise each passenger is unequivocally advised to put their own well-being first by focusing on their own oxygen mask or life-jacket – before assisting anybody else.

Behaving in this way is not a selfish, ungenerous act. Instead, it is simply that each passenger will be in a better position to come to the aid of others.

Strangely, in everyday life, many people fail to think and act in such logical ways that will augment their mental and physical well-being.

Here are six valuable, everyday life-lessons to improve your well-being:

*YOU are a unique and special person – irrespective of where you were born, where you live, your gender, race, appearance, education, intellectual output, wealth, employment, whether you are single, partnered, have children, or are childless. (Ignore any opinion opposing this fact);

*You were born worthy. (Do not expect somebody to tell you are worthy and be very wary of somebody who tells you that you are not);

*Try not to be your hardest critic. Instead, be kind to yourself. (I know, it may be easier said than done – but your well-being is at stake);

Working out the well-being value of constructive criticism

*Work hard at recognising and differentiating between valuable, constructive criticism and those verbal or other attacks which are designed to diminish your self-esteem;

*Each day try to find at least 15 minutes of contemplation time for yourself – away from all of your responsibilities – and think about something that gives you joy or, better still, do something practical, large or small, that brings you joy, makes you smile; and

*Try to trust your own judgment when you feel you don’t want to do something. (This is easier said than done when confronted with the time-worn phrase: “Everybody’s doing it; you will be the odd one out.”)

Six life lessons for mental and physical well-being

© Thelma Etim

This opinion piece appears in Thrive Global

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