The New Economic Foundation, a think tank based out of London, UK, developed the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” model (Aked et al., 2008). The “Five Ways to Wellbeing” include:
- Connect: Build connections with those around you (friends, family, coworkers, etc.) and your local community.
- Be Active: Take time each day to be physically active. Choose something active that you enjoy such as exercising, taking a walk, dancing, playing a game, etc.
- Take Notice: Savor and be mindful of life’s moments. Be present and aware of the world around you.
- Keep Learning: Learn something new or take up a new hobby or skill.
- Give: Reach out and help those around you, volunteer in your community, show gratitude to others.
A more comprehensive explanation of each of these “Five Ways to Wellbeing” can be found by visiting the New Economic Foundation report.
To establish this framework, researchers at the New Economic Foundation reviewed over 400 scholarly papers and met with key leaders in the field of positive psychology to identify the key contributors to individual wellbeing(Aked et al., 2008; Stephens, 2020). The common themes they identified were social relationships, physical activity, awareness, learning new things, and serving or giving to others(Aked et al., 2008). These themes were then consolidated into the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” model. Each aspect of the model was chosen because it was found to be evidence-based, universal (applicable to many different populations and age groups) and targeted to the individual (Aked et al., 2008). Though this framework is not necessarily specific to positive education, the universal nature of its key components makes it applicable to schools, both for students and staff.
Aked, J., Marks, N., Cordon, C. & Thompson, S. (2008, October 22). Five ways to wellbeing: communicating the evidence. New Economics Foundation. https://neweconomics.org/2008/10/five-ways-to-wellbeing
Stephens, S. (2020, March 30). Five ways to wellbeing at a time of social distancing. New Economics Foundation. https://neweconomics.org/2020/03/five-ways-to-wellbeing-at-a-time-of-social-distancing