5-3-1: Workplace Wellbeing

This course was inspired by the work of Dr. Richard Davidson, professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and founder/chair of The Center for Healthy Minds. He distilled his work into a simple moniker, 5-3-1, and introduced it on the Today Show back in July of last year. This audio course is divided into three 20 minute sessions. In each session, you will do all three practices. However, in each session, you will spend a little more time on one of the practices to give it some depth and context. Consider keeping a journal to capture your thoughts and insights.

Check it out, where it all started: Today Show – Seeking Happiness at Work?

Session One: Meditation

Additional Videos on Meditation:

Session 2: Gratitude

Additional Resources on Gratitude:

Session 3: Kindness

Learn how to incorporate movement into this meditation practice of Loving Kindness.

To request the above Kindness Card to pass around in your department, please email wellness@uwhealth.org

The ripple effect starts with one. One person to hold open a door. One person to leave a note on someone’s car complimenting their awesome parking skills. One person to write a thank you letter to a teacher. One person to be a spark of kindness when another really needs it. Check out a plethora of kindness ideas.

How can you express kindness here at UW Health? 

  • Make eye contact and smile warmly at people that you pass.  Try to make a connection.
  • Be the calm voice in a stressful situation.
  • If you find yourself irritated at someone in the cafeteria, give them a break and remember they could be having a hard day too.
  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Send a kind note to a coworker.
  • Donate a book to the Children’s hospital.
  • Help direct veterans to the VA clinic down the road.  I see them lost frequently in the parking lot.
  • Stop and pick up trash or bits of paper if you see it. 

Additional Resources on Kindness:


  1. Beth says:

    Always ask: “How can I help you?” I think “What do you need?”, “Are you checking out?”, “Do you need something?” and “Are you looking for someone?” just aren’t kind enough. None of them imply I Want to help you.

  2. Gail says:

    compliment the parents of an infant or young child with their excellent parenting skills–no matter how the baby/child is behaving. It is guaranteed to encourage and bolster the parents!

  3. Kristine Kappel says:

    Recognizing that your work area staff are stressed, and providing and/or sharing with them, even just the little things to bring a smile, chuckle, laughter, that will give a moment of release from their stress. And possibly, a continued pleasant thought for longer than just that moment. :0)

  4. debra kaner says:

    Treat all people the same – regardless of their position…with respect and compassion.

  5. Katie says:

    Smile or say Hi , it will help both of you

  6. Mary says:

    Take a coworker for ice cream!

  7. jack peleck says:

    Open or hold a door open for anyone in your proximity. You be surprised how that will make someone feel.

  8. Tabatha says:

    Give a hug to a co-worker who has been ill and not at work, Letting that person know they are missed!

    • Wellness says:

      Thanks for posting your kind act. You have been entered for our prize drawing. Continue to spread kindness!

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