Values are what make us who we are. They are the compass guiding everything we do – our choices and our actions. When we forget that compass, we take the wrong turn. It’s the same for our families, for our communities, for the world. Our values show us the way. The 19th October is World Values Day, and offers a chance to engage and celebrate those values most important to us. The Network of Wellbeing (NOW) is proud to support this Day. You can read more about the campaign and NOW's values below. You can also read more about the Day's events and how you can get involved here.
“Often people know the price of things, but not the value… If we do not have value, we have no life” – Satish Kumar, Resurgence Editor-in-Chief and Network of Wellbeing Chair of Trustees.
The pressures of everyday life can make it easy to take for granted those things that are really important in life. Connection is a core value which inspires our work at the Network of Wellbeing (NOW). ‘Connect’ is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing; proven to be good for our physical and emotional health, and vital for wellbeing in many different ways. We can connect to ourselves, to each other and also to the wider world, and at NOW we see all three of these aspects as vital for holistic wellbeing. So, this World Values Day we are reflecting on the importance of connection.
Connecting with self, others and nature
As human beings, our personal wellbeing is dependent upon our relationships, and upon the communities and contexts in which we work, live and play. These, in turn, depend on the fairness of society as a whole, and the long-term health of the natural world on which we all depend.
So connecting and caring for ourselves, each other and nature are interconnected priorities which underpin the whole of life. These types of connection have no price tag, yet life would not be so rich without them.
A commitment to connecting in three ways can make a significant difference to the quality of our lives and the lives of those around us:
- practicing mindfulness;
- nurturing our relationships, and;
- spending time in nature.
Mindfulness as a basis of connection
Practicing mindfulness has major benefits, such as increased self-awareness, improved regulation of emotion and higher attention span. Connecting at an inner level by mindfully observing and attending with gratitude to whatever nurtures our lives, can enable us to be more present and more compassionate, too.
From a point of mindful self-care, we can more actively focus on creating and valuing our positive connections with others. It’s clear that taking time to connect with each other is vital for our own wellbeing. It has been shown that good relationships not only keep us happier, but healthier too - that is the conclusion of the longest study into human happiness that was conducted at Harvard over 75 years.
Another form of connection that has been proven again and again to benefit health and wellbeing is time outside in nature. Getting outside has been proven to reduce stress, increase immunity, relieve depression and restore attention levels. And if you can spend time outside mindfully or together with others this can add to the benefits.
One human community
Our wonderful Chair of Trustees and Resurgence Editor-in-Chief Satish Kumar summarises his three core values of “soil, soul and society” in a way that demonstrates the need for us to connect and live together as one human community. World Values Day can offers us the opportunity to reflect on our interconnectedness and act in a way that acknowledges this:
Learn more and get involved this World Values Day!
Charles Fowler, part of the UK Values Alliance and involved in launching World Values Day, says: “Working on the organisation of World Values Day this year has been a great way to experience values in action. Almost every day individuals and organisations have contacted us to affirm their commitment to values and to offer help and support, and this has led to all kinds of events and activities springing up across the country and around the world in celebration of the Day.”