5 Ways to Wellbeing

NHS systems, mental health organisations and national governments across the UK recognise the there are 5 key ways to wellbeing. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of practical actions aimed at improving our mental health and wellbeing, they were developed by the New Economics Foundation from evidence gathered in the Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project (2008). The work that I do aims to meet all 5 ways to wellbeing for participants - continue reading for aims/outcomes of sessions, how sessions work and an article on how creativity supports and leads to better mental health.

What happens at Soul Creative Circle sessions?

At Soul Creative Circle, I am to provide participants with a safe space in which they feel held, heard and empowered to be and express themselves authentically.

Sessions aims are focussed on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing strategy - take a look at the aims below:

  • Increased connection & social wellbeing.

  • Builds connections in a safe space.

  • Provides space for self care.

  • Builds confidence.

  • Supports positive mental health & mindfulness.

  • Decrease in anxiety.

  • Increase in self worth.

  • Empowers participants to be themselves.

  • Provides an outlet for all feelings.

  • Gentle approach to tackling deep issues.

  • Increased self esteem.

  • Provides a tool for stress management & reflection.

  • Aids compassionate mind theory.

  • Builds self awareness.

  • Builds emotional awareness.

How do sessions work?

Each session begins with a settling activity so that participants are guided and encouraged to focus solely on themselves and their needs for the session. The core of the session is time to connect, create, ponder, reflect and muse over the given prompts and the end of each session finishes with an opportunity to share work or discuss thoughts and feelings that arose. Where necessary or desired, participants will also be provided with a grounding activity to round off the session.

By providing inspirational tasks and prompts that explore all manner of subject areas, participants are invited to respond and create freely using materials they have brought along or that are provided. There is no expectation to create a perfect product by the end of each session and the mantra of “process over product” is key to this work having maximum impact for its participants.

Whilst it is lovely to share our ideas, stories and creations, there is never an obligation to do this. The work participants create is for them and them alone. Should participants want to share it, there is always space to do so. The aim of the sessions is never to fix one another, or offer solutions to individual problems. But instead, to meet participants where they are at current and provide space and time to reflect and work on themselves through the medium of creativity.

"But I'm not creative"

When accessing Soul Creative Circle sessions, participants do not need to have any creative experience to join the circle. All participants are gently encouraged and given permission to leave their desire for perfection and place their expectations of themselves at the door - thus adopting Divergent Thinking models. As participants move through each session, creation becomes freer and deeper and the process of reflecting through creating can be life changing and powerful.

Creativity, Wellbeing and Mental Health...

In a psychological study looking into the effect creative activities can have on mental health conditions , Dingle et al (2017) found that arts-based groups provide opportunities for shared emotional experiences and emotion regulation. In the conclusion of their findings, their results demonstrated positive benefits for the emotions of both healthy adults and those experiencing mental health conditions through individual and interpersonal processes. This is also reflected in studies by Potter (2015), who states that “there is ample evidence that the arts help to overcome mental health problems...and can give rise to significant reductions in anxiety, depression and stress. Likewise, more recent studies into the use of creativity to aid mental health research “shows a trend towards mood improvement” (Zhu et al, 2020) .

Lifelong benefits ...

Alongside the undeniable impact engaging in creativity has on wellbeing and mental health, a focus on creativity across the Welsh education system, has shown a noticeable increase in confidence, problem solving, communication, lateral thinking and resilience of participating pupils (Welsh Gov, 2020). What better way is there to develop these skills for life...

Please visit the services page to see how I can help you, your clients, pupils or employees engage and develop in this way.

Are Soul Creative sessions therapy?

Whilst the act of creating & journaling can feel very therapeutic; as it is about the self, it is not therapy per say. Nevertheless, there is considerable research and evidence to suggest that engaging in creative activities, such as creative journaling, can “help with major challenges such as ageing and loneliness. It can help to boost confidence and make us feel more engaged, authentic and resilient. Besides these benefits, art engagement also alleviates anxiety, depression and stress” (Eising, 2019).

If you would like to know more about what Soul Creative Circle offers, please contact me for a chat.