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Welcome to wellbeing! This section of the Living Well website is our favourite — it’s where we focus on improving mental health and wellbeing, building resilience, and improving self care and helpful coping skills.

At Living Well we are committed to supporting people to live fulfilling, caring, connected, active lives. We are not just about focusing on managing symptoms, but improving mental health. For us, “living well” means putting your life on the agenda. We also believe that “being well” is something you do, as opposed to something you are. While many people consider a state of wellbeing to be the final stage of recovery, we consider it the very first step.

“Being well” is something you do, as opposed to something you are.

So when people come and visit us at Living Well to get some support and work through issues, this is often how we begin. When you look at what you can do to improve your wellbeing, and make the time to engage in these behaviours, you are automatically improving your ability to cope with stress and difficulties. You are giving yourself a solid base from which to take further steps forward.

It isn’t easy

Depending on your current mental state, placing a focus on wellbeing in this way can be difficult. It often means making a conscious decision to engage in activities and behaviours you might not yet feel ready to do. It also means making a personal commitment to maintain changes that are an every-day struggle.

In highlighting the importance of the wellbeing strategies listed here, we recognise that what we are suggesting is not easy at all.

It may help to keep in mind that, in the case of mental and physical wellbeing, “feeling it” almost always follows “doing it.” This is shown again and again in the research and in our practice.

wellbeing and mental health
Recovery often means improving wellbeing

Recovery and resilience do not reflect simply the absence of problematic symptoms, but rather a zest for life; a positive conceptualisation of ones self; the ability to form positive, supportive, and safe relationships; and the ability to achieve a fulfilling quality of life.

McMAckin, Newman, Fogler, & Keane. (2012)

By placing a focus on wellbeing there is no presumption that problems will disappear — that’s not possible. Everyone, whether they have experienced sexual violence or not, will confront problems and have to deal with them. Rather, what putting an emphasis on living well does is encourage you to put energy into identifying and doing things that are important to you, spending time with people you care about, and engaging in activities that fit your defined life purposes.

Not surprisingly, an experience of sexual violence can derail you from these things. It can make you lose sight of where you are or even who you are. Rather than centering on the experience of abuse in your life, its impact on you, or examining how you have coped with its effects, this section is very much about you and how you live your life.

Wellbeing articles

Being a man

Being a man

‘The hardest thing to get over was being a victim. I am a man, a strong men. Men don’t get abused'. 38 year old man from South Australia. Gender — that is, identifying as a man, a woman, or non-binary — is a significant aspect of our persona...
Mental health

Mental health

Cognitive and behavioural strategies for mental health Well-being and mental health is a lot more than the absence of illness or discomfort. It is a pattern of behaviours and thoughts that encourages resilience and psychological flexibility, and...
Grounding exercises

Grounding exercises

Grounding exercises are things you can do to bring yourself into contact with the present moment - the here and now. They can be quick strategies (like taking three deep "belly breaths") or longer, more formal exercises (like meditation). Different strategies...
Pleasant activities to do

Pleasant activities to do

There are often times when stress and life difficulties can seem to be getting the better of us. The more we try to sort things out, the more tired and frustrated we can become. Sometimes it can be useful to give yourself a break, go away and do something ...
Problem solving

Problem solving

Basic problem solving in six steps We all face difficult decisions and problems in our daily lives. Some problems are quite small and easy to resolve, whilst others can require some significant effort and time to work through and sort out. Problem...
Unhelpful thinking patterns

Unhelpful thinking patterns

Our brain generates thousands of thoughts each day. Some thoughts are really useful, absolute gold, while others are unhelpful and best left to one side. The trick is to learn to see these thoughts for what they are – thoughts only, ideas generated b...
Living by your values

Living by your values

For most people, dealing with distressing experiences, such as anxiety, depression, and memories of sexual abuse, takes a lot of our energy. At times it might feel like it takes all you’ve got just to stay afloat, leaving not much left over for anything e...
Expectations and making changes

Expectations and making changes

For most people, the fact that you are here reading this information is a sign that you are ready for big changes in your life. You may have been thinking about this for a while. You might also have a sense that this isn’t going to be easy and that m...
Why you might think about getting a pet

Why you might think about getting a pet

It has been known for many years that keeping pets improves our overall wellbeing. You'll not only hear endless anecdotes about the relative benefits of pet companionship, but there is an ever-growing body of research evidence looking at this in more...
How music can support your well-being

How music can support your well-being

Music plays a big part in our lives. Music for wellbeing Research suggests that music can stimulate the body’s natural feel good chemicals (e.g. endorphins, oxytocin). It can help energise our mood and provide an outlet for us to take control o...
Self help resources

Self help resources

For mental health If you're looking for self help resources, we've got them here. A collection of free downloadable booklets and audio mp3s on a range of self help topics, from abuse to stress. Thanks to Survivors Manchester . Please note that...
5 steps to mental wellbeing

5 steps to mental wellbeing

Scientific evidence points to five steps that we can take to improve our mental wellbeing. If you give them a try, you may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from your life. Your mental health is important. Some mental illnesses,...
Connect with others

Connect with others

Connect for mental wellbeing When it comes to wellbeing, other people matter. Evidence shows that connecting with others and forming good relationships – with family, friends and the wider community – are important for mental wellbeing. Relationships are...
Get active

Get active

Exercise to improve depression It has long been known that regular exercise is good for our physical health. It can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and strokes. In recent years, studies have shown that regular physical activity also...
Keep on learning

Keep on learning

Using your brain to improve wellbeing Learning new skills is always a useful endeavour, however what we like best about it here is the positive effect it can have on your wellbeing. Also that it doesn't have to be super complicated! Learning doesn’t o...
Give to others

Give to others

Giving for mental wellbeing Most people would agree that giving to others is a wonderful idea. It's a pro-social behaviour that shows kindness, empathy and support. However there's also more to it than that; when you give to others it can have a...
Be aware of yourself and the world

Be aware of yourself and the world

Mindfulness for mental wellbeing It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Often people can actually use this as a strategy to avoid the discomfort that can accompany stillness. However the research is finding more and...
Inspiration

Inspiration

Be inspired and become inspiring We can all benefit from reading inspiring stories, listening to inspiring speakers, participating in and contributing to inspirational events. Being inspired uplifts the spirit, creates hope, increases energy and...
Affirmations

Affirmations

Below are some affirmations recommended by men who have attended Living Well's drop-in group . Affirmations can be useful reminders that can help set (and keep) us on course during our often busy and sometimes challenging everyday lives Brett Kirk's...
Inspirational quotes

Inspirational quotes

Inspirational quotes are thoughtful words that help you to look at things differently, and sometimes to feel inspired to make positive change. A few words of encouragement at the right time can make all the difference. We have collected and included...
Good physical health

Good physical health

Good physical health for good overall wellbeing Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a vital part of living well and maintaining wellbeing. Much of what we talk about in this wellbeing section of the Living Well website is mental and psychological...
Healthy living for men

Healthy living for men

Practical steps that can help you today Living well means living healthy. We know from research that whatever your difficulties, being down, going through tough times, dealing with overwhelming and distressing memories, eating well and exercising are...
Eating well

Eating well

Enjoy eating well Eating well is about enjoying the food you eat, not just about nutrients. Vitamin and mineral supplements should not, and cannot, be used to replace a balanced diet. So get into the habit of enjoying tasty, fresh and healthy meals....
Exercise

Exercise

Get active to improve depression It has long been known that regular exercise is good for our physical health. It can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and strokes. Get active to improve depression In recent years, studies have shown...
Sleeping well

Sleeping well

Sleeping well is important for our everyday well being. “Sleep hygiene” is the term often used to describe healthy and sustaining sleep habits. When sleep is disrupted or poor sleep habits develop it can negatively affect our physical,...
What is mindfulness

What is mindfulness

There’s a lot of confusing information out there about what mindfulness is: A way to meditate? A type of therapy? A relaxation strategy? In some ways it can be all of the above, but really it’s as simple as becoming aware of your here and now exp...
Creating your own mindfulness exercise

Creating your own mindfulness exercise

The awesome thing about mindfulness as an effective way to improve your mental health and wellbeing is that it doesn't have to be an intense formal practice. You can work informal mindfulness exercises into your every day life. Just think about how two...

Mindfulness exercises


Relaxation exercises

Living a full life

We all benefit from having a variety of strategies to manage difficult times and enhance our emotional well being. The following web resource from the RMIT University Counselling Service was designed to support university students to manage during stressful times. However the information, worksheets and podcasts are well put together and useful for anyone looking to live a full and active life.

Website: Support for living a full and active life

Reference: (1) McMAckin R.A., Newman E., Fogler J. M., & Keane T.M. (2012) Trauma therapy in context: the science and craft of evidence based practice. American Psychological Association: Washington.

1 comment

  1. Comment by William L . O'Connor

    William L . O'Connor Reply June 22, 2017 at 6:49 am

    I have been healed through diet, prayer and positive thinking. This site has so much valuable information. Thanks

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