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Mental wellbeing information

Last updated Thursday, 11th Aug 2011

Being with friends, reading a good book, enjoying a nice meal, going for a walk in the sunshine… It is often the simplest things in life that help us feel a sense of contentment and happiness. Sometimes though, the everyday pressures of life can take over and we can forget to make time to enjoy those little things which make our lives better.

‘I always feel at my happiest when walking along the beach - hearing the waves crashing onto the shore…..’

Five ways to wellbeing

In 2008, research was undertaken to find out what we can do to help ensure we have a positive mental wellbeing. The UK government’s Foresight Report into Mental Capital and Wellbeing suggested that there are five ways to take care of your mental wellbeing.

  • 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; one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.
  • 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 in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.
  • 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 feel 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 a wider community can be incredibly rewarding and will create connections with the people around you. 
  • Take notice
    Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful things around you. 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.

This section of Signpost UK can help you think about some of the things you could do to look after your mental wellbeing. It includes information about clubs, groups and activities, and there are stories from other people about the things they do to live their life well.

    Mental Wellbeing A-Z