The "Five Ways to Well Being"

"Well being" means more than just happiness and can be referred to as 'feeling good' and 'functioning well'. In today's world it is quite easy to forget about ourselves and even neglect our own needs, because we have so much to do elsewhere and more important things to worry about.

So what should we be doing about this?

Studies have shown that it is not what possessions or wealth we have that makes us happy, but more about how we think and act ourselves. Changing how we think about things and ourselves, trying new activities, exercising more and adopting healthier lifestyles can lead to a positive 'sense' of 'being well' or 'well being'.

"Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity and engagement are characteristic of someone who has a positive experience of their life. Equally important for well-being is our functioning in the world. Experiencing positive relationships, having some control over one's life and having a sense of purpose are all important attributes of well-being."

Huppert F (2008) Psychological well-being: evidence regarding its causes and its consequences.

Five ways to well-being

Making choices ...

Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental well-being.

If you approach them with an open mind and try them, you can judge the results yourself.

Connect - Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.

Be active - You don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find the activity that you enjoy, and make it a part of your life.

Keep learning - Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?

Give to others - Even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

Take notice - Be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness" and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges

Taking her place in the therapy session