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Looking After Your Mental Health

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Foresight's Mental Capital and Wellbeing project has drawn on state-of-the-art research from across the world to consider how to improve everyone's mental capital and mental wellbeing through life.

Evidence suggests that a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and also help people to flourish.

The project commissioned the centre for well-being at nef (the new economics foundation) to develop 'five ways to wellbeing': a set of evidence-based actions to improve personal wellbeing.

Connect...
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.  Exercising makes you feel good.  Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy; one 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 on a train, 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 to do.

Give... 
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 will create connections with the people around you.

Foresight Report: Mental Capital & Wellbeing Project (2008)

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