day 4 - take notice

Your health, your well-being challenge

During the 5 days of the Innovation Festival we are aiming to bring to light how acting upon the different 5 ways to well-being can improve our mental health and well-being. 

On Thursday our activities encourage you to Take Notice. Throughout our lives’ many of us will experience times where we find ourselves lost in our own thoughts. We may find that we are so busy making plans, going from task-to-task, going from one place to the next and pushing forward in many different directions that we don’t take time to reflect and take notice of the world around us.  By taking notice and being in the present, we can improve our mental health and sense of well-being.

What does it mean to ‘take notice’?

Taking Notice means actively bringing our mind’s attention and interest to the world around us and ourselves; what is going on externally to us and what is happening within us. Taking notice means being present in the moment; observing what’s beautiful or unusual in the world. It means being aware of our thoughts and feelings as they arise, without getting lost in them. It means savouring the moment whether you’re being active, connecting with a friend, learning a new skill, or giving to other.

Why is ‘taking notice’ important for our mental health and well-being?

Reduces worry, anxiety and depression

Focusing too much on past events and worrying about the future can have a negative impact on our mental health and well-being (Wang, 2016). Although it is natural to respond to the stresses in our lives’ by thinking about them, it has been shown that by taking a break from these thought patterns, by focusing on the present moment, we can help alleviate negative thinking patterns and maintaining a level of calmness, which is good for our mental health and well-being.


Taking Notice is a step towards strengthening and widening our self-awareness. By developing a better connection to ourselves (intrapersonal), where we are more aware of our needs, values and interests, we can begin exploring and choosing behaviours that are consistent with these things.

Promotes Positive Behaviour Change

Research suggests that goals for behaviour change (such as drinking less alcohol, exercising more, learning new skills) need to be aligned with our personal values to be successful.  Increasing self-awareness by ‘taking notice’ may have the added benefit of enhancing this process (New Economics Foundation, 2008).

Being present and taking notice of the world around us can be something that we do during our everyday life.

Have a look at what’s on during Thursday to support you Taking Notice, and reserve your place by emailing (places on some sessions are limited):


Mindfulness (8am – 9am or 5pm – 6pm. Taster session also available 1pm – 1.30pm)


 If you are feeling ‘Mind Full’ rather than mindful, then our mindfulness sessions are the perfect space for you.   Throughout the session we will explore the benefits of mindfulness, practice some simple and easy to use techniques and gain from greater clarity, well-being and personal investment.

Lunchtime Walk


Join our daily walking group to enjoy a short stroll through the local area whilst making new friends along the way. Research tells us that at least 30 mins of moderate exercise a day helps to reduce the risk of obesity in adults.  Regular walking also improves mood, reduces anxiety, aids sleep and improves self-image. You can sign up for the walk now.


MyndPlay (all day, no booking required)

 This is the world’s first mind controlled video player. Using the latest EEG technology, control your brainwave patterns to do amazing things.

  • Increase focus and concentration
  • Train your brain to relax under pressure
  • Test your mental skills against the games
  • Take control of your thoughts and feelings
  • Develop greater impulse control
  • Develop the mind of an athlete
  • Train your brain to cope with stress
  • Master your mind and emotions

The MyndPlay BrainBand can measure the electrical activity of the brain. This data can be used to control apps, games, videos and movies using only brainwaves. With the MyndPlay media player you can also watch a video and see in real-time how the brain responds to it.


Volleyball (Monday – Thursday: 5.15pm – 6.15pm)

We have the net, so why not give it a go?

If you want to try something different, why not have some fun on the beach volleyball court. We are looking for teams of four to take part in daily events.  Volleyball is an exciting, competitive game that offers an amazing workout through aerobic exercise.  Other benefits include:

  •  Improves coordination and balance.
  • Improves mood, mental health, reduces stress, and helps self-esteem.
  • Reduces risk of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Helps enhance the health of joints and bones


Teams of four can sign up by emailing

Indian Head Massages / Hand and Arm Massages (all day from 8.30am)

 Indian Head Massage has been practiced in India for over a thousand years and is a safe, simple and effective therapy that encompasses the head, neck, shoulders and upper arms. The treatment is carried out with the client fully clothed and sat in a chair and is therefore suitable for all as it eliminates the need for any clothing to be removed – which could be a barrier to the individual being able to fully relax – limiting the effectiveness and benefit of any treatment.

The aim of Indian Head Massage is to release the stress that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints and improves concentration and aids better relaxation and sleep the lack of which can be associated with stress related illness.


Gel Manicures (10am – 4pm)


Take some “me time” and book your appointment with Angela for a manicure / file and polish. Apart from making sure your hands and nails look and feel good, a manicure often has the side-effect of relaxing you; there are pressure points on your hands that correspond to other areas of your body.

(For all appointments, please make sure that any old polish has been removed in advance).


Singing (8am - 9am)


On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings of the festival, singer and choir leader Claire Tustin will be leading group singing sessions in the Funderdome, 8 – 9am. Anyone is welcome to come along, no experience or skill required, just a willingness to join in, be positive, learn something new and have a go at being part of an impromptu choir.

We will be singing a range of easy to learn, catchy songs that will set you up for the day feeling inspired and energised.

For more information click here.


Mini MOT’s (Tuesday – Thursday, 9am – 5pm)


Our 15 Minute, private health assessments will help you to better understand your current health status.  The assessment will cover a range of checks and basic tests.  Results are available immediately and emailed to you in a confidential report.  You can find more information about the assessment here. Advanced booking is essential for this activity, which you can do very easily by following these steps:

  • Visit:
  • Enter event code: Northumbrian
  • Select the most suitable date and time
  • Fill in your contact details