Our philosophy is based on working together to co-develop, co-produce and co-deliver self management opportunities, groups and courses. There is a shared decision making process, and the courses and workshops are delivered by a variety of partners and available on a range of topics.
All these opportunities are based within the 5 ways of wellbeing. These were developed by the New Economics Foundation in 2008 who state that;
On the available evidence to date, this report has identified five key actions around the themes of social relationships, physical activity, awareness, learning, and giving. There is evidence supporting the effects on well-being and this is growing. Having strong social relationships, being physically active and being involved in learning are all important influencers of both well-being and ill-being. By contrast, the processes of giving and becoming more aware have been shown to specifically influence well-being in a positive way.
We support people with accessing a combination of all of these behaviours to help enhance individual well-being and maximise the potential to reduce the dependence on services in the longer term.
Click here to view our 5 Ways to Wellbeing booklet
Mindapples encourages us all to take care of our mental health. Click here for more information about mindapples.
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.
Being well connected is associated with increased mental health and wellbeing. When we talk about connecting, we usually think of connecting with other people.
• Connecting with self and having quiet moments
• Connecting with nature, pets and animals
• Connecting with God or one’s spiritual needs
Sometimes, connecting with people’s distress can leave us feeling challenged and drained and too many contacts can make us feel we are not properly connected with anyone. As with all things in life, a balance is needed. You may also want to seek out “positive” connections in your life to balance time spent with distress and suffering. By making choices and consciously attending to the connections we make we can be more in control of our lives, take up the driving seat and become committed to working on living well.
A lifestyle that includes valuing learning is positively associated with mental health and wellbeing
It can be hard though to feel motivated to learn all the time, especially if because of our work or roles we are told we have to learn specific things whether we are interested in them or not, whether we value them or not. Learning can come to feel more like a chore and a ‘tick box exercise’. If this has been part of your experience and your interested in learning has been ‘spoiled’ it can be reconsidered and rediscovered. Engaging with the ‘5 ways’ is about learning what you can do to be more satisfied and fulfilled in your life and the very act of learning is part of that.
How we think about learning and what we say to ourselves about it will make it more possible and satisfying or more of a struggle or even obstacle. Everyone can learn.
Learning new skills and practicing and refining old ones are key to both personal and professional growth. It keeps us interested and focused, breaking the monotony of life and opening us to new possibilities. We don’t necessarily have to sign up for a college course degree or complete masters degree, simple daily opportunities really count. We could learn how to cook a new recipe, play a new sport or find out about something we are curious about.
We can also learn something new about the people we meet. For example, we may wish to learn more about the other person’s hopes and wishes, what makes them smile, what they value in life, their strengths and inner resources etc. Or the environment we are living in – what’s going on that may be interesting to visit or take part in? What we learn and how much effort we put into learning something new will be different for different people. As long as we pursue learning for our interest and gain satisfaction out of doing so, it will enhance our wellbeing.
People who are active have improved mental health and wellbeing
Different people engage in different forms and different levels of activities. Being active is important for both our physical and mental health. Small changes in levels of activity can make a big difference. Just ten minutes of physical activity has been shown to be beneficial for mental wellbeing. We need to consciously make an effort to be a little more active.
Sometimes we may complain that we don’t have enough time or we are too busy to take on activities. The reality is we all get 24 hours in a day. It is up to us to be willing to make slight adjustments to our lifestyle or our daily routine thereby creating a bit more space to be more active. It all comes back to choice and how we set our personal priorities. Sometimes it may feel as if we have been very active during the day as we feel exhausted and drained towards the later part of the day. When we reflect back on the day, we may find that although our mind has been very active, we have not been that physically active. Mental fatigue can be overcome by keeping our physical health in good shape and the key to this is committing to some form of physical activities as part of our routine.
When we take even a five minute break to positively refresh ourselves we can end up being in a more resourceful state and then use our time more productively.
Taking notice, being aware and mindful is associated with mental health and wellbeing
Most of us are fairly busy. Our mind is active throughout the day. We constantly seem to be doing something. We focus on the next step and the next task in hand. More often than not, we focus on the various things that need to be sorted, project deadlines that need to be met, unpaid bills, the various phone calls we need to make, the appointments we need to keep etc. When we complete all the things on our ‘to do’ list or our chores, we then may switch on the TV or read the paper. The contrary can also be true. We may not be doing much but we may be lost in our thoughts, focusing on all the things that are not working in our life – we can be busy doing nothing.
Most importantly we forget to take notice, to be aware and mindful of our surroundings, to be alert and awake rather than lost in thought or forgetful of where we are and what is happening around us.
To take notice is to pause, even if for a brief period, to spend some time in silence and reflect on our experiences, to look up and give time and attention to being aware of where we are and what is before us. To take notice is to be in the present, in the ‘here and now’ and tune in not only to our bodily sensations, our breathing and our experiences but also to what is going on around us, in our surroundings.
Find out more about Mindfulness on http://bemindful.co.uk and http://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/
People who enjoy giving and are open to receiving have improved mental health and wellbeing
Every relationship is one of give and take. ‘The more we give the more we receive’ is a wise old saying. Giving is associated with mental wellbeing. There is a difference though in giving for the sake of politeness, obligation or duty and giving because your intention is to feel good and make the other person feel good. When you are in a frame of mind in which you feel good in the very act of giving, this is going to enhance your wellbeing and can also contribute to the wellbeing of the person whose life you touch. When you give, give openly and from the heart. There are many opportunities to give in small ways every day
• Giving a smile, a compliment, encouragement
• Giving a hand, giving way to other car drivers
• Giving your time, a silent wish or prayer
• Give yourself the gift of connecting, of being active, of noticing
• Giving thanks i.e. being grateful for whatever good is happening in your life
Some people say that they find giving easy, but that they don’t feel as comfortable to receive. This is especially true when it comes to receiving compliments. They may murmur a quick ‘thank you’ but don’t really accept the compliment or are dismissive. Giving is a two way process – your acceptance of what someone else gives is good for them as well as for you. By becoming more comfortable with the ‘give and take’ of everyday life we build ourselves up as well as give opportunities to others.
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