Wellbeing | Well-being meaning | How do you define wellbeing

Wellbeing or well-being is not just the absence of disease or illness, it’s a multidimensional combination of a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social health factors. Wellbeing is strongly linked to happiness and satisfaction in life. In nutshell, wellbeing could be described as how you feel about yourself and your life.

What influences wellbeing? 

Every aspect of your life influences your wellbeing. Psychologists and researchers investigating the link between happiness and wellbeing over a period have found that the following factors enhance a person’s wellbeing:

  • A happy intimate relationship with a partner.
  • Network of close friends.
  • An enjoyable and fulfilling career.
  • Enough money, but don’t be greedy.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Nutritional diet.
  • Enough sleep.
  • Spiritual or religious beliefs.
  • Fun hobbies and leisure pursuits.
  • Healthy self-esteem.
  • Optimistic outlook towards life.
  • Realistic and achievable goals.
  • Sense of purpose and meaning in life.
  • A sense of belonging.
  • The ability to adapt to change.
  • Living in a fair and democratic society.

Many of the factors are interrelated

The factors that influence wellbeing are interrelated. For example, a job provides not just money but also a purpose, motivation, goals, friendships, and a sense of belongingness. 

Some factors can make up for the lack of others. For example, a good and fulfilling relationship with a spouse in marriage can compensate for a lack of friendships. 

Many a time, religious beliefs may help a person to come to terms with physical illness and accept it. Otherwise, it is difficult to accept the realities of life, and you can keep thinking as to why it is happening to me only? Why am I so unlucky? 

Money is not the key

Wellbeing and finances are related. Money is associated with your wellbeing because having enough money improves your living condition and increases your social status. However, happiness may not increase in proportion to your income. After a certain point money has no real value, if not utilized effectively. Morgan Housel, in his book “The Psychology of Money” states that “Past certain level of income, what you need is just what sits below your ego”. 

Once your basic needs are covered, there is another level of comfortable basic needs, and past that there are basic needs that are both comfortable, entertaining, and enlightening. But spending beyond a level is a way to spend money to show people that you have money.

Many people believe that having more wealth will increase their happiness. But it’s not true. According to the book “30 lessons for living” written by gerontologist Karl Pillemer based on interviews of more than one thousand Americans over sixty-five years of age: people value things like quality friendship, which is something bigger than themselves, and spending quality unstructured time with their children. They say that your kids don’t want your money anywhere near as much as they want you, especially if they want you with them. 

Other various international studies have shown that it’s the quality of our personal relationships, not the size of our bank balance, which has the greatest effect on our state of general wellbeing and happiness.

Believing that money is the key to happiness in life can harm your wellbeing. For example, a person who chooses to work overtime may not be able to enjoy quality time with family, friends, and other leisure activities. Similar to overthinking, overworking also affects your mental wellbeing.

The added stress of long working hours may also reduce a person’s life satisfaction. Research shows that people who chase ‘extrinsic’ goals like money and fame are more anxious, depressed, and dissatisfied in comparison to persons who value ‘intrinsic’ goals like close relationships with family and friends.

Wellbeing can be elusive

Wellbeing is important, but the concept is not easy for everyone to understand and seems difficult to achieve. It is a wholesome concept that includes various aspects of your life affecting your daily life and relationships with friends and family.

Measuring wellbeing

Measuring your wellbeing is difficult because the interpretation of wellbeing is so subjective – how you feel about your life largely depends on the way you see it. As the saying goes, one person’s problem is another person’s challenge. 

For example, people suffering from illness, unemployed youth, people with excessive drinking habits, victims of crime, uneducated people, and people living below the poverty line and earning less than minimum wage are the persons whose general wellbeing is to be improved. 

Therefore, it is helpful to keep track of how many people are falling in which category, however, it is a challenge for the Governments worldwide and for the researchers studying happiness.

How to achieve wellbeing

  • Develop and maintain close relationships with family and friends.
  • Connect with your social contact regularly.
  • Try to find work that you think is enjoyable and rewarding, rather than just working for the best pay.
  • Eat a balanced diet including nutritious foods.
  • Do regular physical activity. Hit the gym.
  • Become involved in activities that interest you. Inculcate a hobby.
  • Join local social or charitable NGOs/organizations or clubs that appeal to you.
  • Set achievable goals and work towards them.
  • Try to be optimistic and enjoy each day.

Types of wellbeing

Wellbeing has several dimensions. It can be categorized as mental wellbeing, psychological wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing, spiritual wellbeing, social wellbeing, and financial wellbeing.

Spread the love

3 thoughts on “Wellbeing | Well-being meaning | How do you define wellbeing”

  1. Pingback: Letting go - moving on

  2. Pingback: Stress Management: Symptoms, Types, Causes, and Relieving Stress

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top