Five Tasks, Mental Health

As we all know it’s not just our physical health that needs attention and care, we must safeguard our mental health too. In the same way as eating fruits and vegetables contributes to our mental well being, scientists have pinned down a list of five ways to stay sane including playing a musical instrument, mending a bicycle and gardening.

Revealing it’s as simple as this, researchers suggests that the five-a-day activities could really help you protect your mental health. All you have to do is engage in five simple activities throughout the day. Put together by nearly 400 international scientists from fields of neuroscience to economics specializing in various subjects of interest, the report was compiled for the government think factory Foresight.

Foresight is led by Professor John Beddington; also Government’s chief scientist. Hoping the report catches the eye of ministers as well, he remarked, “We need to ask what actions can add to that bank account, and what activities can erode that capital. This report gives us new insights, based on cutting-edge science, into the challenges ahead and how they might be addressed. The report has shown that if an individual is fulfilled in their work this positively affects wellbeing; this in turn will see reduced expenditure on the treatment of mental health problems.”

Aimed at extending people’s attention towards their mental well-being, the team of experts are looking to start a campaign identical to the governments five-a-day nutrition drive. Here’s what Felicia Huppert, project member and professor of psychology at the University of Cambridge has to say-“We found there are five categories of things that can make a profound difference to people’s wellbeing. Each has evidence behind it. These actions are so simple that everyone should aim to do them daily, just as they are encouraged to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables.”

The five essential and simple tasks we must indulge in to stay mentally fit are being active with sports and hobbies such as gardening or dancing or just a daily stroll, learning something, for example fixing a bike or playing an instrument, connecting with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors, being curious, noting the beauty of everyday moments as well as the unusual and giving to others you meet around you. The whole idea of the report is to make people aware how important it is to address mental health issues as well.

Another high spot of the report is a connection between mental health and debt or financial crisis. In comparison to about 16% of the general populations about half the people in Britain who have a debt suffer some form of mental ailment.

So all you need to do to stay mentally fit is follow the five a day programme of social and personal tasks.

Called the Mental Capital and Wellbeing report, it is published by Foresight, part of the Government Office for Science.