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Five Ways to Wellbeing

The Five Ways to Well-being were developed by the New Economics Foundation from evidence gathered in the UK government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing. The Project, published in 2008, drew on state-of-the-art research about mental capital and mental wellbeing through life. It asked the New Economics Foundation to develop the Five Ways to Wellbeing to communicate its key findings.

The Five Ways have been used by health organisations, schools and community projects across the UK and around the world to help people take action to improve their wellbeing. They’ve been used in lots of different ways, for example to get people to start thinking about well-being, to develop organisational strategy, to measure impact, to assess need, for staff development, and to help people to incorporate more well-being-promoting activities into their lives.

Have a look at the Five Ways to Wellbeing below and then add to our list of ways we can include ways of enhancing our wellbeing in our daily lives on the Your Wellbeing page here.

Connect

When it comes to wellbeing, other people matter. Evidence shows that good relationships – with family, friends and the wider community – are important for mental wellbeing.

Building stronger, broader social connections can increase your feelings of happiness and self-worth.

Many of us would like to spend more time with people who are important to us. Sometimes, having a busy life can make this difficult.

But evidence shows that our relationships affect both our physical health and mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing means feeling good – about ourselves and the world around us – and functioning well.

Nurturing our relationships can help us feel happier and more secure, and can give us a greater sense of purpose. That makes investing in relationships one of the five evidence-based steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

Ideas:

meeting friends / meet a friend for coffee / talk to family and friends who you trust / cuddle the cat / asking for help and support from others / take a coffee break with a friend or a good book

Ways to connect in Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove Council have an events diary of local community events. Look in our directory for Families, Relationships and parenting and also local Support Groups . Some Support Groups are open to anyone but others are linked to particular issues or community groups so do check any categories in our directory that might be relevant to you.

Get Active

Being active is great for your physical health and fitness. But evidence shows that it can also improve your mental wellbeing.

Many people think that the mind and body are separate. But what you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing.

Mental wellbeing means feeling good – about yourself and the world around you – and being able to get on with life in the way you want.

Evidence shows that there is a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing. That makes being active one of the five evidence-based steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

Being active doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym, if that doesn’t appeal to you. Find physical activities that you enjoy and think about how to fit more of them into your daily life.

Ideas

Doing yoga / watching (playing) football / walking on a windy day / swim in the sea (if warm enough) / dancercise class / a walk on the beach with an icecream cone / long walks with baby / a slow walk / deep breathing exercises

Ways to be active in Brighton & Hove

Some local organisations offering ways to keep active and / or connect with nature include GROW and Active for Life. Also, look in our directory Physical Health section.

Keep Learning

Learning new skills can be useful, but it can also positively affect our mental wellbeing. It doesn’t have to mean getting more qualifications. There are many ways to bring learning into your life.

Many of us associate learning with childhood. As adults, it can seem as though we have less time or need to learn new things.

But evidence shows that continuing to learn throughout life can help improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing means feeling good – about yourself and the world around you – and being able to get on with life in the way you want.

Learning can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose, and help us connect with others.

That makes learning one of the five, evidence-based steps that we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

Ideas

solving a crossword puzzle / make something / baking – cooking something good to eat / bake a cake

Ways to keep learning in Brighton & Hove 

Have a look at our Adult Learning and Training for ways to keep learning.

Give to others

Most people would agree that giving to others is good in itself. But it can also improve your mental wellbeing.

Small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones – such as volunteering in your local community – can give you a sense of purpose and make you feel happier and more satisfied about life.

Sometimes, we think of wellbeing in terms of what we have: our income, our home or car, or our job. But evidence shows that what we do and the way we think have the biggest impact on mental wellbeing.

Positive mental wellbeing means feeling good – about yourself and the world around you – and being able to get on with life in the way you want.

Helping and supporting other people, and working with others towards a shared goal, is good for our mental wellbeing. Giving to others is one of the five evidence-based steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

Ideas

Making a friend smile / cooking for someone / take my dad’s dog out

Ways to Give in Brighton & Hove

Mind in Brighton & Hove have volunteering opportunities or look in our directory for volunteering opportunities in other organisations as well. Find out more about volunteering opportunities across the City at the Community Base Volunteer Search or at the Volunteer Centre.

Take Notice

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”, and you can take steps to develop it in your own life.

Good mental wellbeing means feeling good – about life and yourself – and being able to get on with life in the way you want.

You may think about wellbeing in terms of what you have: your income, home or car, or your job. But evidence shows that what we do and the way we think have the biggest impact on wellbeing.

Becoming more aware of the present moment means noticing the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that you experience, as well as the thoughts and feelings that occur from one moment to the next.

Mindfulness, sometimes also called “present-centredness”, can help us enjoy the world more and understand ourselves better.

Being aware is one of the five evidence-based steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.

Ideas

Doing yoga / time on my own / get creative / meditation / sit under a big tree – breathe and take in it’s solidity and movement / watch the sun setting / listen to salsa / coffee and a magazine in a café / bath with candles / mindfulness – meditation is for all / relaxing music / the sun / get out into the park or the countryside

Ways to Take Notice in Brighton & Hove

Have a look at GROW and BHT Wellbeing. The Mental Health Foundation have produced podcasts including Mindfulness ones which are free to download.

Want to know more about the 5 ways to wellbeing?

You can read more about Wellbeing and Mental Health including the 5 Ways on the Brighton and Hove City Council website.

Information Leaflets

5 ways to wellbeing thumbnail5 ways to wellbeing – The evidence

NEF was commissioned by the Government’s Foresight project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing to develop a set of evidence-based actions to improve personal wellbeing. In this report, NEF presents the evidence and rationale between each of the actions, drawing on a wealth of psychological and economic literature