Five Ways to Wellbeing

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Felicia Huppert. Felicia is a well-known researcher in the field of wellbeing, and has advised and informed the UK Governments policy making in the area of mental capital and wellbeing.

Amongst other things, she introduced me to the work of the New Economics Foundation who, in their own words,  look at economics, “as if people and the planet mattered.”  Based on the latest scientific research the NEF have produced the “Five Ways to Wellbeing.”


With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Be active…

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Take notice…

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep learning

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.


Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

If you (or your school) are looking to take a more proactive approach to wellbeing, as a starting point, I think you could do a lot worse than explore how you can embed the Five Ways to Wellbeing in what you do.

In fact, if put into a school context, I think the Five Ways to Wellbeing presents a nice little values/mission package for your school…

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0 Comments on “Five Ways to Wellbeing

  1. THe fifth is the essence of well being in my opinion for if you give (especially volunteering) then you stand to achieve all of the other 4 – you connect, are active, can take notice (especially if your volunteering takes you into nature, and learn,

    • Thanks for your comment Tony…
      I think too often we (and kids in particular) think of “giving” as just tossing a gold coin into a bucket… Interesting to see how many schools build community service into their programs.

  2. Self respect, I believe should be on this list. Sure, it is a case of the chicken or the egg first senario, however with self respect/worth comes the ability to take notice, be active, give, learn, and through these, connect.

    • Like you say, it’s a case of what comes first? Maybe it’s more of a cyclical thing?
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  3. I also think – celebrate – it is a very good thing to celebrate your way in the world, your steps of success, you strengthening of relationships, your widening experiences that took you out of your safe comfortable place, to a new place and your discovery of your new talents and potential…

    • Celebrate… I like that…
      Almost a natural follow on from “noticing” or “connecting…”
      thanks for your comment Julie.


  4. I agree with all of the above, but especially with Tony – giving is the key to well being, because when we give we also take even if that is not the intention, we take something away from all situations, if we are giving of our time we get something back and through giving we connect, we learn, hopefully we take notice and if giving physically we can get active too. I was reading a book earlier called ‘Change the World for Ten Bucks’ and so may of these five points were incorporated in the ideas in the book. Thanks for sharing these 5 things.

    • Thanks for your comment Jane. I reckon “Change the World for Ten Bucks” should be on schools’ reading lists! 🙂
      Cheers, Dan

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