Last year, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Felicia Huppert, a well-known researcher in the field of wellbeing. She has advised and informed the UK Governments policy making in the area of mental capital and wellbeing.

Amongst other things, she introduced me to the work of the New Economics Foundation (NEF) who in their own words, look at economics, ”as if people and the planet mattered.”  

 Based on the latest scientific research the NEF have produced the “Five Ways to Wellbeing.” Written primarily for an adult audience, I have tweaked them slightly to appeal to students.

 1-Connect… Think of relationships as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support you when times are tough and enrich you every day as you get older.

2-Be active…Exercising makes you feel good so join a school sports team, or if you’re not particularly sporty, find a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

3-Take notice…Keep a journal, or take a photo. Be mindful. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

4-Keep learning…A given at school, but it should not be limited to academic studies. Try a new musical instrument, learn a new language, learn to draw, the possibilities are endless.

5-Give… 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. Your time is the most valuable thing you can give anyone.

 You can read more about the Five Ways to Wellbeing here.

 Author: Dan Haesler, he is a teacher, writer and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminar at the Gold Coast. He writes for the Sydney Morning Herald and blogs at and tweets at @danhaesler

Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People Seminars