Since Covid-19, it’s not surprising that individual well-being is now firmly on the mental health agenda



Published Nov 30, 2022


Having been isolated for over two-and-a-half years because of Covid-19, it’s not surprising that individual well-being is now firmly on the mental health agenda.

Your whole health and quality of life depend on your mental health, which is more than just the absence of mental illnesses.

Taking care of the human mind as well as the body not only helps maintain good health but also keeps us happy, makes us feel in control, and ensures we have the tools and support to successfully overcome difficulties and achieve what we want out of life.

Due to the unique way of living of every individual, people find happiness in different ways. Everyone does not need or want the same thing, but at the end of the day, what we want is intangible, and achieving it manifests differently for each of us.

Picture by Johannes Havn/Pexels

Even in a time when many South Africans are dealing with multiple challenges, such as the fact that they have to tighten their budgets because of the escalating cost-of-living crisis. Larry Soffer, an illusionist and entertainer, claims that entertainment has a significant role to play in enhancing and supporting mental health and well-being.

“It really is a game-changer. After all, they say that laughter is the best medicine.”

He explains that live entertainment is the ultimate feel-good factor and the perfect way of escaping from our everyday routines. It is also about sharing elements of fun and lightness, and emotional connection with a room full of people.

While entertainment is frequently demonised, when it is freely chosen it can produce desired states like calm or arousal and can instigate a variety of human emotions that enhance daily life.

“We are wired to seek out things that bring us joy,” said Soffer.

One undeniable feature of play is fun. Positive emotions, including humour, contribute to a sense of well-being and health, be it through video games or simply watching cartoons on TV.

We always need a break from reality.

We yearn for those few moments or activities that can temporarily free us from the daily stresses that consume us. While some might prefer to be outside and in touch with nature, some people find working out in the gym beneficial. Find what makes you genuinely happy because that helps you stay motivated and ultimately believe in yourself.

However, entertainment differs because it has the potential to whisk us away from our ordinary lives and into a realm of mystery and magic where we can experience the extraordinary.

Aren’t we all waiting for the weekend, so we can plan something exciting, fun and different?

We do it because we get so much positive energy from a good experience or from being with good people. If you’re feeling happy and positive, you’re likely to radiate and transfer these happy feelings to someone else – like a domino effect, which is a great way of elevating everyone’s mental health and well-being, said Soffer.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.