Five ways to wellbeing
There is good evidence that shows that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a basic human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.
Social relationships are important for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. Possible ways to improve this are:
• Talk to someone instead of sending an email
• Speak to someone new
• Ask how someone’s day was and really try to listen when they tell you
• Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
Regular physical activity is linked with reduced rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.
It’s important to remember that it doesn’t need to be intense for you to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise. Some ideas for improving this are:
• Take the stairs not the lift
• Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
• Have a kick-about in a local park
• Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave your home
Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can enhance your awareness.
Research suggests that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly improves your well-being and staying ‘in the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.
Heightened awareness also helps your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations. Possible ways to do this are:
• Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
• Take notice of how your friends and family are feeling or acting
• Take a different route to the shops or bus stop
Taking time to learn new things can improve self-esteem and social interaction too. When people set themselves goals, no matter how small, it can significantly lead to higher levels of wellbeing. Some ideas to do this are:
• Sign up for group
• Read a newspaper or a book
• Do a crossword or puzzle
• Research something on the internet that you’re curious about
Research has shown that being part of a group or a community is probably the most powerful ways of improving wellbeing. People who say they enjoy helping others tend to also consider themselves as happy.
It doesn’t have to take lots of time either. Even one act of kindness a week for six weeks has shown to make a difference to someones sense of wellbeing.