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The Five Ways to Wellbeing

5 steps to a happier life

Research shows that a big portion of our happiness levels are down to the choices we make and the way we live. But what are the things that really matter when it comes to improving our wellbeing? The Five Ways are a great place to start...

1: Connect

Connecting with the people around us is vital to our wellbeing. This includes friends, family, neighbours and the people we meet day-to-day: colleagues, shop workers, dog walkers; anyone! Connections with others improve our sense of belonging, self-worth and life satisfaction. Take a moment to consider how strong your connections with other people are and what you could do enhance this. 

2: Take Notice

Being more present in the moment is very good for us. This includes taking notice of what's going on both around us and within: noticing beautiful scenery, tuning into our senses, being aware of thoughts and emotions, having a sense of curiosity. Taking notice boosts our wellbeing by making us more self-aware as well as feeling part of something bigger. What can you do to be more present in your daily life? 

3: Be Active

Being active is about moving more – which doesn’t have to mean being a gym bunny! - anything from having a kick about in the park to dancing around the kitchen to going for a walk or bike ride count, as well as sports and exercise classes. Getting moving releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, especially when done outside. Find an activity you enjoy - perhaps something you loved as a kid - and have fun! Our Activity Finder is a great place to find opportunities local to you.

4: Keep Learning

"Every day is a school day" - a phrase we're all familiar with, but do we put it into practice? - Keeping learning gives us a sense of achievement & self-worth. It can include anything from an evening class to reading non-fiction to asking a friend or colleague to teach us something new. There are many ways to get learning, and the courses available at Dorset's Skills & Learning centres could be a good place to start if you want something to get your teeth into. 

5: Give Back

Helping others and being involved in our communities makes us feel good about ourselves. This can include anything from volunteering for a charity to helping a neighbour to simply smiling at someone on the street. Even saying a heartfelt 'thank-you' when someone has helped you counts as a form of giving and will give you a boost. If you'd like to find out about local volunteering opportunities, check out the Dorset Volunteer Centre website. 

Take your next step to LiveWell

Our free advice and coaching is ready to support your next step to LiveWell. Register online or give us a ring on freephone 0800 840 1628.


I like to think I’m good at looking after myself, but sometimes my mood goes down and I realise I’ve let something slip, like enjoying enough social time with friends. The 5 Ways are a great reminder of the things that are most important to keep myself feeling good.

How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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