The five ways of well-being
About eight years ago at work, my colleagues and I were asked to complete a survey about our mental well-being and it's stuck with me ever since. There was a range of questions to answer about my mood, feelings and daily activities. At the end of it, the results showed how I measured up against the 'five Ways of Well-being'. Some areas looked good – others were lacking, quite a lot!
I wanted to write about the five ways of well-being because I found them to an incredibly useful framework to help me look at the areas in my life I could improve to make myself feel better.
Sometimes, when you don’t feel great, it can be so difficult to put your finger on just what the issue is or how to improve things.
This way, I could break down all the areas of my life and try and put my finger on more specific things I wanted to work on changing.
What are the five Ways of Well-being?
The five ways of well-being are evidence-based actions that you can do in your daily life to improve your wellbeing:
1. Positive connections
Us humans are social animals and relationships are so important for our sense of belonging. Spending time with the right people can ensure we feel understood, it’s great to have others that we can share our feelings with and in turn receive emotional support.
How are your relationships right now with friends and family? Is it time to strengthen relationships or maybe to think about some new ones?
2. Be active
Oftentimes, we can feel that exercise is a chore, or treat it as something to be done in return for a slice of cake (diet culture sucks!). But really it should be about moving for the joy of it.
Do you have something you enjoy doing that you build into your daily life? Cycling, dancing, walking, swimming, ballet, karate… whatever movement it is that brings you joy – find or re-discover it and get a little wiggle on!
3. Keep learning
Learning feels good! It doesn’t need to mean textbooks and exams, it can be creative and fun – learning to bake, photography, a language… the list is endless. When was the last time you challenged yourself to learn something new? Learning something can give you a real sense of satisfaction, increase your confidence and boost your self-esteem.
4. Give to others
Acts of kindness, big or small, can give a real sense of purpose. From a smile to a stranger or a kind word to someone feeling down to volunteering your time or doing someone a favour will bring joy to you both. Have you checked in on your friends lately to hear how they are or offered a hand to someone?
5. Be mindful
Being aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Being mindful is about taking the time and opportunity in the crazy busy world to capture the beautiful things that are happening every moment. Is it time to take more notice?
On that note, there’s no time like the present to take some time to reflect on your life within these five areas to see if you can pinpoint anything you’d like to work on improving for a boost in your feeling of wellness.
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