5 Ways to Well-being

The '5 Ways to Well-being', developed by the New Economics Foundation, are a set of evidence-based actions to improve personal wellness. Similar to the guidance on eating 5 fruit and vegetables per day for a healthy body, these steps were developed to support a healthy mind.

'Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.' — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Evidence suggests that even a small improvement in well-being can help to decrease some mental health problems and enable people to thrive.

Use these five areas to help you to improve your personal well-being. This will also help you to support others more effectively.

1. Connect

As humans, we have a basic need to connect with other people. We need to invest time in building strong and healthy relationships. Building these connections will support and enrich you everyday. In your everyday life, you can:

  • Talk to someone instead of sending an email
  • Chat with a colleague over lunch
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
2. Be Active

Exercise releases endorphins and helps relieve feelings of anxiety and depression. It also helps improve brain cognition. In your everyday life, you can:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Practice 'desk stretches' or mini exercises throughout your day
3. Take Notice

Being in the present moment can strengthen and broaden awareness. It can also help you to enhance your self-understanding. Reflecting on your experiences, will help you appreciate what matters to you. In your everyday life, you can:

  • Really notice how you feel and react in certain situations
  • Take a different route to work
  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
4. Learn

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Learning new things will help you to improve your confidence as well as being fun. In your everyday life, you can:

  • Learn a new word for the day
  • Find out something new about your colleagues
  • Learn how to say hello in different languages
5. Give

Random Acts of kindness releases oxytocin, also known as the 'cuddle hormone' or the 'love hormone'. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in well-being. People who help others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. In your everyday life, you can:

  • Volunteer
  • Thank someone and smile
  • Perform a random act of kindness
Extra:

How can you incorporate 2 or more of the 5 Ways to Well-being into one action? E.g. Walking to work with a colleague encompasses 'Connect' and 'Be Active'.

Our 1 day Mental Health at Work: Managers course enables employers and employees to implement the 5 Ways to Well-being into their culture and daily practices. To find out more, please click here

Katie attended the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy where she set up Altruist in 2013. Since then, Katie has won various awards including Birmingham Mail's Young Achiever of the Year 2017, New Entrepreneurs Foundation 'Future Face of Business' and Entrepreneurial Spark's 'Most Accelerated Business'. She has also been a finalist in nine other award categories and in 2014, Katie was invited to attend the prestigious 'Women of the Year Lunch' in honour of her work raising awareness and reducing the stigma attached to mental health.

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