Foresight Five

Bit of press coverage in the UK today about the publication of Foresight’s Mental Capital and Wellbeing Report.

As the Times and the Guardian explain, some 400 scientists have identified the following five activities that we should do every day to be mentally healthy:

  • Connect
    Developing relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours will enrich your life and bring you support
  • Be active
    Sports, hobbies such as gardening or dancing, or just a daily stroll will make you feel good and maintain mobility and fitness
  • Be curious
    Noting the beauty of everyday moments as well as the unusual and reflecting on them helps you to appreciate what matters to you
  • Learn
    Fixing a bike, learning an instrument, cooking – the challenge and satisfaction brings fun and confidence
  • Give
    Helping friends and strangers links your happiness to a wider community and is very rewarding

They’re difficult to argue with, but it does feel a bit general to me. And personally, having nothing in there about being in the natural world is rather surprising. If I have more time I’ll do a bit of digging into how they’ve arrived at the conclusions, particularly whether these are just things which on average helped more people, or if they’re geniunely things which they believe will work for everyone.

What do you think? How do the experts’ suggestions measure up to your five-a-day?