5 Ways to Wellbeing | The Ultimate Guide to Feeling Good
5 Ways to Wellbeing
Research has shown there are five simple things you can do as part of your daily life, both at work and at home, to help build resilience, boost your mind and body wellbeing, and lower your risk of developing mental health problems.
These simple actions are known internationally as the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are;
- Be Active
- Take Notice
- Keep Learning
Why the Five Ways Work:
Connect: Strengthening relationships with others and feeling close to and valued by others, including at work, is critical to boosting wellbeing.
Be Active: Being physically active, including at work, improves physical health and can improve mood and wellbeing and decrease stress, depression and anxiety
Take Notice: Paying more attention to the present moment, to thoughts and feelings and to the world around, boosts our wellbeing.
Keep Learning: Being curious and seeking out new experiences at work and in life positively stimulates the brain.
Give: Carrying out acts of kindness, whether small or large, can increase happiness, life satisfaction and a general sense of wellbeing.
The Five Ways in Action:
When it comes to putting the 5 Ways to Wellbeing into practice, don’t overthink what it could entail. It could be as simple as;
Connect – with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
Be Active – Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Garden. Play a game etc
Take Notice – Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment
Keep Learning – Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Take on a new responsibility at work.
Give – Do something nice for a friend or teammate. Thank someone. Volunteer your time.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Mental health and wellbeing go hand in hand with feeling good, and meaningful conversations about mental health and wellbeing don’t have to be hard conversations. Being able to talk about our mental health, including our thoughts and feelings, is a sign of connection and a good attitude towards health
Simply engaging in conversation with someone, and listening to how people are feeling and what is impacting (positively or negatively) on their actions and relationships could be just what another person needs:
Simple questions could include;
- How are you?
- What’s up?
- How are things going with work / home / family / friends?
- What have you been up to recently?
- What did you get up to over the weekend?
- Did you manage to solve that issue you had?
- Can I help with anything?
- How are you finding your job?
- Are there any things that could make it better, easier, less stressful?
Strong relationships with others are an essential part of building resilience and boosting wellbeing.
Let’s Look Deeper into the 5 Ways to Wellbeing
We all need to feel close to other people and feel valued by them, and evidence shows that CONNECTING with others including colleagues, friends, and the wider community promotes wellbeing, and helps build a support network for when times get tough.
Connecting is about being there for others, talking and listening, and feeling a sense of belonging.
- Talk to someone – and really listen
- Organise a shared lunch
- Reconnect with an old friend
- Eat lunch with colleagues
- Find ways to collaborate
- Plan a social event at work
- Play with your kids
- Talk or phone instead of emailing
- Join a team or club
Being curious and seeking out new experiences positively stimulates the brain.
Learning improves our self-esteem, keeps us connected and involved and helps us adapt to change and find meaning in our lives. Setting goals, being open to new ideas and continuing to LEARN throughout life helps boost wellbeing and build resilience. It has also been shown to help prevent depression in later years.
Learning is more than just formal education – it’s about exploring new ideas, seeing opportunities, embracing new experiences and sharpening our skills. It means being curious and having an enquiring mind, in all areas of life
- Take a course
- Learn an instrument or language
- Visit a Museum or Art Gallery
- Set a goal and work towards achieving it
- Take on a new task or help someone
- Get to know your colleagues more
- Join a book club
- Listen to a podcast
Being physically active every day is great for our bodies and minds.
As well as improving physical health and fitness, being ACTIVE can also improve our mood and overall mental wellbeing, and decrease stress, depression and anxiety. These benefits are increased when we get outside.
Being active with others can also help us feel more connected and motivates us to build new habits. Being active does not have to mean going for a run. Do what you can to move your mood. Any form of physical movement can be beneficial – find something that you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
Think about how you could move or stand more – build habits to bring more active movement into your workday.
Some activity ideas include;
- Go for a gentle stroll at lunchtime
- Join a sports team
- Break up long periods of sitting
- Have walking meetings
- Take a yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi class
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Do some gardening
- Try some stretches
Paying more ATTENTION to the present moment, to thoughts and feelings and to the world around us, can boost our wellbeing.
Using attention to increase awareness, concentration, and focus on the current moment and the task at hand, has been shown to improve wellbeing and mood. These are skills that can give us greater creativity, accuracy, and productivity.
Becoming more aware of the present moment means noticing the sights, smells, sounds and tastes we’re experiencing, as well as the thoughts and feelings that occur from one moment to the next. It’s about reconnecting with the world around us, appreciating the little things and savouring the moment
- Keep a beautiful object near your desk
- Plan to look up at the night sky
- Notice signs of the season changing
- Practise gratitude
- Try mindfulness meditation
- Sit quietly in a garden or park
- Listen to your favourite music
- Take a break from digital devices
- Single-task – do one thing at a time
GIVING makes us feel good. Carrying out acts of kindness, whether small or large, can increase happiness, life satisfaction and general sense of wellbeing
Giving is more than just sharing material things with others. It’s about cultivating a spirit of generosity and actively supporting others. The acts of giving, receiving and being aware of acts of kindness, even indirectly, give us a sense of purpose and self-worth. Giving also builds mana and connection with others.
At work, a culture of giving helps to build a positive emotional environment and promotes connection, empathy and teamwork.
- Compliment someone
- Help a colleague with their work
- Share your ideas or feedback
- Get involved with a charity
- Express gratitude – thank someone
- Make someone a cup of tea
- Support a friend or colleague
- Do the dishes for someone
- Perform a random act of kindness for a colleague, friend or even a stranger
There are many resources available on the internet to help with wellbeing and generally feeling good, and so if you’d like to share any tips you have, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
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