“My life is brilliant at the moment”

— Man with learning disabilities linked into volunteering, football club and employment training course

Using the Five Ways to Wellbeing

The New Economics Foundation devised the Five Ways to Wellbeing in 2010, and it has been influential throughout the public and voluntary sectors since then. The Five Ways framework suggests five areas of action that can contribute to mental wellbeing:


Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.

Keep Learning

Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course? Start learning to play a musical instrument? Or figure out how to fix your bike?

Be Active

Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

Take Notice

Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.


Even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

5 flags for Wellbeing Exeter

These principles inform the approach taken by our Community Connectors when they are discussing the changes an individual might want to make to their lives. Take a look at some recent examples to see how this works in practice.