5 ways to wellbeing

Five ways to wellbeing

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The following steps have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation. Let us know us what you think about them and how you look after your wellbeing on Facebook.

Connect

There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.

  • Talk to someone instead of sending an email
  • Speak to someone new
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
  • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
  • If you're on a journey talk to who is sitting next to you
  • Join us on Facebook or Twitter and comment, or comment on this or other blogs

Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being. We know this can be hard for lots of us due to pain or mobility issues, but there are creative solutions. It doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking of wheeling, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise. Even simple stretching can be useful and even IMAGINING that you are doing exercise will have an impact on your wellbeing! So in the situation that gentle exercise isn't possible, playing computer games or imagining your body moving can be useful, sounds strange doesn't it, but the research shows it can help.

Take notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations. Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get a plant for your workspace
  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
  • Take notice of how those around you are feeling or acting
  • Take a different route on your journeys
  • Take notice of basic routines such as washing yourself, getting dressed, brushing your teeth
  • Visit a new place for lunch.

Learn

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing. Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Find out something about those around you
  • Sign up for a class
  • Read the news or a book
  • Set up a book club
  • Do a crossword or Sudoku
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Do some self-help reading around improving wellbeing such as mindfulness or meditation
  • Learn a new word.

Give

Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. 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 wellbeing. Giving can be extremely hard when there are so many disability-related tasks zapping our energy, as well as impairment effects such as pain and fatigue. For some of us there are so many difficult medical appointments that there just doesn't seem to time for anything or anyone else, we feel like we are in survival mode.

But there are many ways to 'give': compliment or praise yourself, compliment those around you, make a cup of tea for someone, give encouraging thoughts to others in similar situations in person or online. 

Hopefully these are 5 simple ways to start thinking about your wellbeing. At Spokz People we can help you look at this in much more depth, but for now, identifying one area you would like to improve in your life is a great place to start. Good luck!

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Best wishes, Mel