Five ways to wellbeing

Five ways to wellbeing

Five ways to wellbeing logo

Wellbeing is when you feel good and enjoy your day to day life and has two main aspects: feeling good and functioning well. Feelings of happiness, contentment, curiosity, engagement enjoyment are characteristic of someone with a positive experience of their life.

Functioning in the world with positive relationships, having a sense of purpose and some control over your life are important attributes of wellbeing.

The things we do and the way we think all affect our wellbeing.

The Mental Health Foundation produced Doing Good? Altruism and wellbeing in an age of austerity – a report highlighting the impact that helping others has on people’s mental health and wellbeing, following a public survey which showed that people believe society has become more selfish.

Dr Dan Robotham, Senior Researcher at the Mental Health Foundation and lead author of the Doing Good? report, says: 'We’ve been gathering evidence revealing that acts of kindness, big or small, random or planned can improve our mental health. In one of our surveys, 87% of people said they feel good when they do something kind for a stranger.

'This can be explained by the positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness that can bring a sense of purpose, reduce stress and help get rid of negative feelings.'

Research shows that there are five themed areas or ways to wellbeing where positive actions will contribute to and boost feeling of wellbeing. Each of these themed areas or ways will have a positive impact , being aware of  and a combination of all 5 will provide a rounded contribution to feeling good and functioning well. Some of the themed areas or way you may feel you are already consciously employing in your everyday approach to life and so you may select just one aspect to focus on.

Check out what your wellbeing score is by taking the self-assessment quiz © 2006 NHS Health Scotland, University of Warwick and University of Edinburgh.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing is an exciting and cross-cutting campaign which the Healthy Communities Partnership. The County-wide campaign focuses on improving the wellbeing of people who live and work in Buckinghamshire.

There are many ways you can incorporate one of the Five Ways into your life. Below are some examples of our activities and events which link up to the Five Ways.

The five ways are:

  • Connect – with your friends, family, neighbours and people at work. Have a conversation, pass the time of day, make time for a chat
  • Be active – find a physical activity that you enjoy, go for a walk. Run or cycle, try gardening
  • Take notice – be curious, take time to look at the day. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual
  • Keep learning – Try something new, whether it’s a new recipe, fixing the bike or even signing up for a course
  • Give – Smile, do something nice for a friend or neighbour, make time for others

Five Ways to Wellbeing surveys

The Five Ways to Wellbeing was developed by NEF (the New Economics Foundation), as part of the government’s Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing.

In 2012, the Bucks Healthy Communities Partnership developed a countywide mental wellbeing communications campaign to promote the Five Ways to Wellbeing messages amongst Buckinghamshire’s adult population.

To monitor the impact of this social marketing phase, pre, mid and post campaign electronic surveys were conducted in 2012.
Read the survey report