The 5 ways to wellbeing
The UK-based New Economics Foundation, have researched and developed a set of steps known as the five ways to wellbeing.
These are five evidence-based steps that we can take to try and improve our mental health and wellbeing and that may help us feel more positive and get the most out of our lives.
Nurturing good relationships with those around us is important for our mental wellbeing. Feeling close to and valued by others is an important human need.
- Talk to someone instead of texting or sending an email
- Ask someone how they are and really listen to their response
- Talk to someone new
- Try switching off the TV and instead chat or play a game with family or friends
- Be active
Regular physical activity has been proven to lower depression and anxiety. Endorphins produced during exercise can help us feel good. Exercise encourages social interaction and promotes wellbeing.
- Even a small amount of physical activity can make a very big difference
- Find something you enjoy doing – go for a walk with a friend, take part in an exercise class, lift some weights
- Find ways of moving more in all areas of your life – walk to a colleague's desk to talk to them rather than sending an email
- If you can, take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Take notice
Try to savour the moment as this can help you become more aware of your life and focus on your wellbeing. This is what we often refer to as mindfulness. Practising mindfulness can help us enjoy the moment and enhance overall feelings of wellbeing.
- Have a clear out as clutter may cloud our ability to be mindful
- Take a different route to get somewhere and try to notice the unfamiliar surroundings
- Go somewhere new for lunch
- Notice changes in nature happening around you
Learning throughout life and learning new skills can help to boost self-esteem. It also creates opportunities to connect more with others which can improve our mental wellbeing.
- Sign up for an evening course at a local college in something that has always interested you
- Join a book club - or start one
- Learn a new word
- Use recipe books or online resources to cook a meal you have never made before
Research suggests that regular acts of kindness can promote our sense of wellbeing. Doing things for others can give us a sense of purpose and increase feelings of self-worth and happiness.
- Thank someone for something they have done
- Volunteer at a community group
- Offer some time to help a friend or family member with a DIY project
Spend time with those who may need support
Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. References are available on request.