We know we are more likely to keep healthy habits going when they are straightforward and we repeat them often.  A British think-tank – the New Economics Foundation (NEF) – has published a paper which recommends we build five simple actions into our day-to-day lives to improve our well-being.


These actions are summarised from a review of a large body of scientific data investigating “what works” when it comes to well-being initiatives.

The NEF description of well-being suggests that being high in well-being means functioning well in the world, plus you:

  • Feel good about yourself and your life
  • Are curious about what’s going on around you
  • Enjoy what you do
  • Have positive relationships
  • Have a sense of control and purpose in your life.

Five actions to improve your well-being

  1. Connect – with those around you, your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Connecting with these people will support and enrich your life.
  2. Be active – exercise is very important so find an activity you enjoy. Whether it’s going for a run, walk, bike ride, dancing or gardening – it will make you feel good.
  3. Take notice – be mindful of the moment you are in, take notice of everything around you, and be curious.
  4. Keep learning – take up new challenges and push yourself to keep learning, not only is it fun but it will increase your confidence as well.
  5. Give – do something nice for someone, whether it’s small or big – giving someone a smile or volunteering yourself, giving is rewarding.

You may be doing many of these well-being actions already. If not, make a plan for how you can start to build one or more into your daily routine to give your well-being a boost.

Read the NEF report