The Six Ways to Wellbeing

Wellbeing is a term that covers many different areas within our lives. In its simplest form it could be defined as simply feeling good and being physically well, we know though, through experience, that wellbeing is not as simple as that. To help, we use the six ways to developing and maintaining wellbeing.

Be Active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting wellbeing.

While it may work for some, joining a gym isn’t for everyone – but there are plenty of other ways to keep fit!

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.

Keep Learning

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active lifestyle. 

To keep your mind active, why not read a book, complete a crossword, visit a museum, or watch a documentary on something you know nothing about.  Spend some time learning about something completely new that interests you.

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 to do.


Individuals who spend time giving to others are not only more likely to rate themselves as happy.

Is there a particular charity you support or admire? Charities always appreciate the help of volunteers. Perhaps you have a close friend, family member or colleague who may be struggling. If so, why not take the time to reach out to them? Practicing random acts of kindness, or even simply saying ‘thank you’ works wonders for your wellbeing.

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.


Feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental human need and social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and protecting our mental health and resilience. In fact, according to research, close relationships with friends and family can add up to seven years to our lives – that’s the same benefit as giving up smoking!

Whether you’re arranging to meet someone for coffee, checking in on the phone, or sending a letter to your long-distance best friend, there are lots of ways we can stay connected with our loved ones. 

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 with support and enrich you every day.

Take Notice

By pressing pause once in a while, you can strengthen and broaden your awareness. Being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your wellbeing, and savouring the moment can help to reaffirm your life priorities.

Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations. Next time you’re out in nature, take the time to savour your surroundings and quite literally, breathe. It may be a natural bodily function, but you’d be amazed at how easy it is to forget to take conscious breaths.

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.

Care for the Planet

Are you doing more home cooking? Trying to reduce your plastic waste? Walking to the shops instead of driving? Write down each time you do something to help our planet and use it as a guide to continue to make positive changes, and encourage others to do so too.

Make small changes to your life that will reduce your energy use: recycle more, leave the car at home, use low-energy light bulbs. Small steps to a greener life can make a difference.

The Wheel logo is (c) SLaM and the Wheel of Wellbeing video was created and produced by SLaM