What is Well-being?
The concept of well-being comprises two main elements: feeling good and functioning well. In recent years, there has been a discernible shift of focus in the field of psychology from illness to well-being. The emergence of positive psychology and the science of well-being has brought with it greater interest in establishing the underlying causes of feeling and functioning well.
The first study in the UK to measure well-being estimated that only 14 per cent of the population has a high level of well-being, referred to as ‘flourishing’. A further 14 per cent has very low well-being. A review of the most up-to-date evidence suggests that building the following five actions into our day-to-day lives is important for well-being:
1. 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.
Check out the exciting range of sporting activities we have available at IH including football, yoga, running and squash. These are all FREE for IH residents!
2. Take notice
Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. 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.
If you want to share some of these experiences, why not send us an article idea and it could get published on the IH BLOG.
3. Keep Learning
Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that language course. Take on a different responsibility at work or in the classroom. 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 to do.
At IH, we are fortunate to have friends from all around the world. Why not ask a friend to coffee and ask them about their culture, their lives at home. Ask them to teach you a sport popular in their home country. Go for a traditional meal with them.
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 will create connections with the people around you.
Check out some ideas on how to volunteer around London here.
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
This post consists of extracts and advice presented in the report presented to the National Economiv Foundation by Jody Aked, Nic Marks, Corrina Cordon, Sam Thompson. Image Credit: CC by Wellbeing/Beach Sun