Five Ways to Wellbeing: evidence-based public mental health for the UK population

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The Five Ways to Wellbeing is a set of evidence-based public mental health messages aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population. They were developed by the New Economics Foundation as the result of a commission by Foresight, the UK government‟s futures think-tank, as part of the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are:

Connect…

With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Be active…

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Take notice…

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep learning…

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

Give…

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Five Ways to Wellbeing: New applications, new ways of thinking (PDF). NHS Confederation, July 2011.

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