Five ways to wellbeing for everybody

In 2008, the UK government’s Foresight Project did some research about wellbeing. The New Economics Foundation (NEF) found a way to explain the results of the research. They produced a set of five actions which can improve wellbeing.

  • Connect
  • Be active
  • Take notice
  • Keep learning 
  • Give

NEF also suggested some ways people can build these actions into their everyday lives. They might give you some ideas of new things you could try. Doing all these things would be too much for a lot of people. But even if you just try one of these suggestions, it could help you to improve your wellbeing. 


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. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and 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 walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling.

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.


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 creates connections with the people around you.

Find out more about wellbeing

If you would like to find out more about the topics we have covered in these web pages, here are some useful organisations.

Anxiety UK
Anxiety UK works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding through an extensive range of services, including therapy.
Tel: 08444 775 774

British Association for Mindfulness Based Approaches (BAMBA)
The BAMBA website has an online
search tool to find a mindfulness
teacher near you.

An NHS campaign which gives advice and support to help you eat well, move more and live longer.

Counselling Directory
The Counselling Directory website allows you to search for counsellors in your area. Also provides information about different types of counselling.

Depression UK
Depression UK is a national self-help organisation that helps people cope with their depression.

Disabled Living Foundation
Disabled Living Foundation helps disabled people find equipment that enables them to lead independent lives.
Tel: 0300 999 0004

The Drinkaware website provides information about how alcohol can affect your health, and how to get support if you think you may be drinking too much. Includes a tool to help you work out how many units you drink.

Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health Foundation helps people to survive, recover from and prevent mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and stress. Also has information about mindfulness and an online mindfulness course.

Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, including anxiety, depression and stress.
Tel: 0300 123 3393

The NHS website
The NHS website provides advice and information about healthy living for everyone.

Rethink mental illness
Rethink provide practical information and advice for people affected by a mental illness on issues such as different types of therapy, medicines and benefits.
Tel: 0300 500 0927

Royal College of Psychiatrists
This website has an advice section where you will find evidence-based information on various mental health problems, treatments and other topics.

If something's troubling you, the Samaritans will talk things through with you. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Tel: 116 123

Stress Management Society
The Stress Management Society is dedicated to helping people recognise and reduce stress.
Tel: 0203 142 8650

If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. If you are unable to access the internet, please contact our Epilepsy Action Helpline freephone on 0808 800 5050.


Epilepsy Action would like to thank Professor Markus Reuber, Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Sheffield and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for his help in producing this information.

Professor Reuber has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of Epilepsy Action's information quality standards.

  • Updated August 2019
    To be reviewed August 2022

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