How I'm using the five ways to wellbeing to look after my mental health

You haven't listened to a word I've said!

I quite often hear the phrase  ‘you haven’t listened to a word I’ve said’ and it’s true, I probably haven’t. This is not because I find the subject matter boring or that I’m being deliberately rude. The fact is I’m trundling on in a world of my own. Sadly I haven’t been blessed with a great attention span so my ability to notice things around me is somewhat limited.

I always used to dismiss this by saying that I am a broad brush kind of a guy and I only see the big picture. This is something of a lame excuse especially given that taking notice is one of the Lancashire Mind five ways to mental wellbeing.

In the last month however the world around us has drastically changed. Even I can’t fail to notice the differences in the world around me and this is helping me to pause, take a deep breath and have a closer look. The roads are eerily quiet, the air is fresher and there isn’t an aeroplane in the sky. Not to mention the increase in wildlife in the area.Don’t get me wrong, 

I haven’t suddenly become a Lancashire version of Sir David Attenborough but I have become more appreciative of the world around me. Now I take stock and I’m on my own little voyage of discovery. For me noticing doesn’t stop with what I can see around me, I’m discovering new things about my friends too.In the last month I’ve just found out that a lady I’ve known for 30 years once played netball for Preston and another friend was once an elite swimming coach. I rather suspect they may have told me these things before but they had just passed me by. I’d failed to take notice!!

So you can take notice in a number of different ways and maybe like me you need a dramatic change in your environment to force you to sit up and look around you. I marvel at my friend Paul; he’s an excellent photographer often providing pictures to national newspapers and magazines. The number of times I’ve wondered whatever possessed him to take that photo? Unlike me Paul has a forensic attention to detail - he takes notice. In fact I’ve used one of Paul’s photographs to illustrate this blog.

Taking notice is a skill I’m just starting to learn and I must admit it doesn’t come naturally. I have however begun to realise why taking notice is one of the five ways to mental wellbeing. It is very calming just taking that brief pause to observe what’s around you.

So what about you? Are you like Paul noticing the world in all its glory or more of a broad brush type like me. If you do notice anything in your environment that you find attractive, why not take a photograph and send it into Lancashire Mind. After all someone like me might have walked straight past it.

I wish you well and keep safe


Lancashire Mind is a company limited by guarantee (company number 3888655) and a registered charity in England and Wales (registered number 1081427) at 80-82 Devonshire Road, Chorley, Lancs, PR7 2DR. Lancashire Mind are registered with the Fundraising Regulator. For all enquiries, call us on 01257 231660.
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