Why bother about Health and Wellbeing?
Based in Milton Keynes, Simon started Thrive - a mental health and wellbeing company - in January 2020.
Why should we bother about our health and wellbeing?
Why don’t we just live our lives how we want to live them and damn the consequences?
And what about other people? Why do they matter?
I realise that might seem a strange way to start a blog, and I am hoping that you are thinking the same – what a negative stance and a negative start.
It was completely intentional. We are drawn to negativity five times more than we are drawn to positivity. Why? Well, natural negativity bias takes over our thought process. We are hard wired to feel more emotion when negative things happen, and then remember how we think about those bad first impressions. Therefore we dwell on them a lot longer than the more positive feelings.
Here’s a checklist of the negativity bias that humans tend to follow (then I promise we will turn to more positive vibes):
- We remember traumatic experiences better than positive ones
- We recall insults better than praise
- We react more strongly to negative stimuli
- We think about negative things more frequently than positive ones
- We respond more strongly to negative events than to equally positive ones
So with that firmly in mind, why don’t we start to change the mood. One of my favourite singers is Tim Minchin, the Australian super-genius who also happened to pen the award-winning musical Matilda (based on the awesome Roald Dahl book of the same name). In this musical Matilda is singing a song under her breath that uses these lines:
Just because you find that life’s not fair
It doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it
If you always take it on the chin and wear it
You might as well be saying you think that’s it’s okay
And that’s not right
And if it’s not right
You have to put it right…
But nobody else is gonna put it right for me
Nobody but me is gonna change my story
Occasionally you have to change your story, or sometimes help someone to change theirs.
Flashback time. In May 2019, 7 perfect strangers (of which I was one) met in London to attend a Mental Health First Aid Instructor course. We all came from different backgrounds and different lives, but we each had the same purpose – to change our story and to help others change theirs.
But how could we do that?
By becoming Mental Health First Aiders, we became able to unlock a world of help for other people. We could help people understand why they might be struggling with their own thoughts. We could also train people in turn and arm them to become more caring individuals as they enter the world as Mental Health First Aiders.
While we all came together as a group and have formed long lasting friendships, it was the XY chromosome peeps that seemed to bond the most. So as we exited the course, Colin, Richard and I felt like the three Mental Health Musketeers.
We all stayed in touch (and you can read our bios in the about us section of the website if you need to know more) and even managed to fit in a few training sessions together. But it was in 2020 that we really came together as the team you see before you today, the Health and Wellbeing Hub Guides.
We were conscious that the nation’s mental health was at an all-time low, and we really wanted to do something about it, something that would make other people matter. We needed a platform, a voice, somewhere that people from all walks of life could find support. But not just support for the here and now, support for the future. We also wanted to create a community of kindred spirits, to make the world a better place (to briefly paraphrase Priscilla Ahn).
How have we done that?
Well, we’re very excited to launch The Health and Wellbeing Hub and invite you all to come along! The Hub will be a place of calm and solace, a place to come when you are angry and a place to come when you are happy. It will be a place to share, to love, to be part of something bigger, to look after the whole of you, your physical and mental health.
We have crafted and planned lots of great content to make you smile, laugh, cry and rant:
- Experts lined up throughout the year to educate and entertain you
- Live sessions, videos, and downloadable content
- Exercises designed to help make your days and weeks go by in a more united fashion
All three musketeers are passionate about mental health, volunteering, speaking, filming and generally being the best mental health advocates that they can be.
The Hub kicks off with our very first Let Loose Room on Monday 6th September and Monday 27th September at 7pm.
The name of the room is intentional, and literal. Join in and just let loose! Or sit on the sidelines, laugh, cry and be inspired by the strength and courage people demonstrate with their lived experiences. Join breakout rooms to discuss that week’s burning topic and take part in our friendly let loose quiz.
And so we’re back to where we came in – why should we bother about health and wellbeing?
Life is what we make it, and if we make it full of light and fun and positivity, we will banish those bad memories, those embarrassing times and those insults and negative stimuli that we remember from our darker times.
So join us at the Health & Wellbeing Hub.
- Become a member and get exclusive access to events and talks focussing on all aspects of health
- Become an ambassador and run your own let loose room
- Or sit by the sidelines and pop in when you need to
Let’s care about ourselves and each other, let’s turn away the negative bias, let’s not damn the consequences and let’s make the hub a safe and inclusive place.
That’s why we started it and that’s why we want you to be a part of it.