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5 Ways to Wellbeing: Take notice

17 August 2023

3 mins

Image: Courtesy of Getty Images

Improving your mental health whilst at work can feel challenging, but the Five Ways to Wellbeing offer some simple steps you can try every day. 

‘Take notice’ is about focusing on what is happening around you and how you are feeling in the here and now. Viewing time as vertical rather than horizontal helps us to see our life in the moment rather than fear or worry about the future.

It can be difficult to understand how taking notice can improve our overall health and mood, but taking time to focus on the present moment within our busy world can help us to:

  • Appreciate life and everything we have
  • Understand ourselves more
  • Feel calmer
  • Consider how we can approach challenges.

Take notice of your Senses

A great way to start is to focus on the five senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.

Sit down somewhere you feel comfortable and spend a few moments noticing:

  • Five things you can touch
  • Four things you can see
  • Three things you can hear
  • Two things you can smell
  • One thing you can taste.

This is a great way to relax your mind if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Read Rich-Fenn Griffin’s blog about how to get the best from spending time in nature and how you can use your senses outdoors.

Take notice of how Music makes you feel

There is often music playing in the background, such as the radio or a playlist, but we are not paying attention to it. Try and spend some time listening to music that makes you feel happy without doing any other activity; notice how you feel as you listen, did it feel different to focus on the music, did any memories emerge?

Take a brain break

Sometimes an overload of information or lots of things happening at once can make us feel stressed. If checking the news or social media makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed, switch off your phone for a while. Have a go at doing something relaxing or creative instead – draw, cook, read a book, stretch – whatever it is that will give your brain a rest.

Focus on the positives

It’s okay to feel upset or anxious, however when we worry a lot about the past or the future, we can easily forget all the good things that we have in the present moment.

Spend a few minutes thinking about what made you G.L.A.D. today:

G: Something you were Grateful for

L: Something you Learned

A: One small Accomplishment you did

D: Something that brought you Delight

Take a moment to think about how this exercise made you feel.

Tips to help you to take notice

  • Download the Health Assured app for playlists, breathing techniques, podcasts, and more.
  • Have a read of The Yellow Book (hard copies can be obtained on request from the Occupational Health and Wellbeing department).
  • Attend a positive thinking and meditation session led by the University Chaplaincy
  • Take a walk at lunchtime and explore the Fruit Routes or Sculpture Trail.
  • Reclaim the dinner table and try to eat one meal per day without looking at electronic devices such as mobile phones.
  • Pick up the LU Arts journal and have a go at writing down your thoughts (copies can be obtained on request from LU Arts).

John Burroughs, American naturalist and nature essayist said: “I go to nature to be soothed, healed and have my senses put in order.”

Health and Wellbeing

Wellbeing means being in a positive physical, social and mental state. Wellbeing is important to us as happy, healthy people who achieve harmony in their work / life mix are more creative, productive and help to create a great place to work.

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