In 2008, the UK government’s Foresight Project did some research about wellbeing. They wanted to find out how everybody can improve their wellbeing, based on scientific evidence.
The New Economics Foundation found a way to explain the results of the research. They produced a set of five simple actions which can improve well-being. The UK government hopes to encourage everybody to build these into their everyday lives.
- Be active
- Take notice
- Keep learning
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.
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.
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.
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 Five ways to wellbeing: New Economics Foundation website: neweconomics.org
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 works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including therapy.
Tel: 08444 775 774
An NHS campaign which gives advice and support to help you eat well, move more and live longer.
Depression Alliance provides information and support services for people with depression.
Tel: 0845 123 23 20 (leave your name and address to receive an information pack)
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: 0845 130 9177
Drinkaware provides information about the effects of alcohol on health and wellbeing.
Tel: 020 7766 9900
International Stress Management Association (ISMA)
ISMA exists to promote sound knowledge and best practice in the prevention and reduction of stress.
Tel: 0845 680 70 83
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.
Mind, the mental health charity
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, including anxiety, depression and stress.
Tel: 0300 123 3393
The NHS Choices website provides advice and information about healthy living for everyone.
Rethink mental illness
Rethink challenge attitudes and help people living with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders and more to recover a better quality of life.
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. It is regularly updated by psychiatric experts.
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: 08457 90 90 90
Stress Management Society
The Stress Management Society is dedicated to helping people tackle stress.
Tel: 0203 142 8650
WebEase (Web Epilepsy, Awareness, Support and Education)
Webease is an interactive on-line self-management program for epilepsy. It consists of modules focused on stress, medication and sleep management.
If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website. See Wellbeing and epilepsy.
Epilepsy Action would like to thank Professor Markus Reuber, Professor of Clinical Neurology at theUniversityofSheffieldand Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for his help in producing this information.
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
- Updated December 2013To be reviewed December 2016