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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think the proposed plans for improving mental ill health are very good common sense and are well worth considering and taking up.
I like, computer basic course, creative writing, poetry, outings to local cinema etc., and intend to shortly take up swimming.
I love these – the ideas are simple and easy to put into place, you just have to take the action….not just sit there and think about doing them!! There is wisdom in these 5 keys to happiness, I feel, and although this is kind of stuff I knew already as a psychologist/mental health peer specialist – it always helps to be reminded of the good things we can do for ourselves, with the added advantage that in these days of economic hardship we can do them, by and large, for free! I know from personal experience, that by following these guidelines the benefits you reap will be beyond your dreams…especially the connecting with other people around you aspects! Life, to me, should be about having fun, sharing, and balancing a sense of achievement with a sense of pleasure. Hope this helps someone, as someone who trys to ‘walk their talk’! Poppy