The Science of Wellness is a collaborative partnership between Sheffield Flourish and the Sheffield branch of The British Science Association. The event, which was incredibly well-attended with an atmosphere that was welcoming and inclusive, took place on the 25th of September at the Victoria Centre and I went along with a curious and open mind. The foremost aim of the evening was to find out if there is any evidence to back up the notion that engaging in certain activities, such as mindfulness, exercise, being in nature and storytelling, can improve our sense of well-being and contentedness.
The first part of the evening was divided into four ten minute sessions, during which I heard from university students and academics about scientific research and subsequent evidence which points towards the efficacy of mindfulness, exercise, being in nature and storytelling in increasing our sense of well-being. Perhaps unsurprisingly, studies which support the positive role of the aforementioned activities are relatively plentiful but what I found most useful about the information I received during the evening was that it really reminded me of the importance of taking time out from day-to-day life to reconnect with oneself and with those around you in a positive and meaningful way.
After the first hour we had a break and delved into a delicious buffet, which in the spirit of the evening was a cornucopia of healthy and nourishing foods, with not a party sausage in sight.
The second part of the evening was focused on devising our own experiments to test the impact of one of the activities on our feelings of wellness over the course of the next month. I chose to devote at least half an hour every week to spending time in nature, or more specifically walking in the beautiful parks of Sheffield. I was given plenty of literature about local green spaces and activities to help me get started with my foray into the great outdoors and chatted with other attendees about where they like to go walking in Sheffield.
So during the next month, I’ll be recording how I feel in terms of my well-being and will report back to the group at The Science of Wellness Follow-Up Event which will be happening on Monday 30 October from 6pm ‘til 7pm at the Victoria Centre. All are welcome and it’s fun and friendly.
Words: Felicity Jackson