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5-a-Week: 5 ways to well-being


In 2008 the British Government commissioned a review of the work of hundreds of scientists from across the world to create a set of five simple actions which can improve psychological well-being in everyday life. The following are the 5-a-day ways to well-being created by The New Economics Foundation:

1. 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 time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

2. 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. Remember also to eat healthily and drink more (not alcohol!).

3. 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. Think like an artist and be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

4. Keep Learning
Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Learn to play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Take up a new creative hobby like drawing, painting or photography. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

5. 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 the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Throughout these 5 points runs a theme - the mind (cognitive, creative, spiritual) - body connection.  Deepak Chopra describes the model of the body as a systems model; mind-body connection down to a cellular intelligence level.  Chopra explains that 'the body holds together through a constant stream of information that reaches every cell. Homeostasis - a state of dynamic balance - represents health.'  He goes on to state that, 'A person's habits, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour are the key to well-being, since messages from the brain affect the whole body.'  (The full article can be found here).

Points 3 and 4 are focused on in NLP training, but NLP also encourages you to consider the holistic health of the mind-body. In past work-based training, for example, we have promoted physical well-being as part of our programme, with advice from sports trainers and coaches, and talks from local gyms or fitness centres.

Stay curious, keep learning, network, help others and stay healthy.  What will you do for your 5-a-day this week, and how could you promote this in your team or workplace?

Until next week,


Rob Jones is a NLP trainer and coach, providing business-focused NLP courses for PMO, Change Management and L&D Specialists.  He also works with Braintree Group, helping school, college and University leavers to increase their confidence and get into meaningful and fulfilling job roles.

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