Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

Are you getting the right 5+ a day? (and it’s not vegetables!)

We’ve all had the 5+ a day message drilled into us about eating vegetables, but there’s another 5+ that makes you far happier with life.

Currently Fraser and I are based in Hawaii to set up Elephant here and I’m swimming a lot (you can in Hawaii because it’s warm every single day!!). I also feel happier and more grounded than I have for a long while and I was thinking about why that might be.

I remembered that a few years ago I spent some time doing a really interesting exercise, which is based on your five senses. How it works is that you think about the following:

What is one thing you really love looking at?

What is one thing that you love the taste of?

What is one thing that you love the feel of?

What is one thing that you love the sound of? Or love listening to?

And what is one thing that you love the smell of.

You write these five things down. For me the five included looking at ordered nature (I love a well laid out garden), feeling water, listening to rustling trees, smelling newly cut grass and tasting seafood and pasta.

I realised that in Hawaii I am swimming regularly (being immersed in water), looking out from our home office onto a canal and a golf course (water and ordered nature!), I can hear palm trees rustling in the wind, I can’t always smell cut grass, but Hawaii does have a very clean fresh smell and there is some great seafood.

In other words, I am getting my 5+ a day. All my senses are getting the things they love most, and it gives me a real sense of wellbeing. It also makes me more productive too!

So if you’ve got a few minutes spare, why not get together with your family, or your team mates or just by yourself, and work out what your 5+ are (I say 5+ because I put down 2 things for taste!! It was too hard to just pick one) and think about how you could get more of these into your life. You may well find that your sense of happiness and wellbeing increases significantly!

Also, you should of course, eat 5+ vegetables a day.

I’d love to hear what your 5+ are if you’re willing to share, and if it made any difference when you figured it out and worked on getting more of these in your life!


Angela Atkins is People and Learning Director for Elephant Group NZ and Elephant Group UK – and also developed the Management Bites training programme. She is best-selling author of the bites series of books and is passionate about helping HR and managers create better businesses. If you’d like, you can follow her on Facebook. Angela is currently based in Hawaii launching Elephant there.


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This entry was posted on November 15, 2017 by in mental health and tagged , , , .
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