Wellbeing is a well-used word, but what do we actually mean by it?
Dictionary definitions revolve around feeling comfortable, healthy OR happy (not all three), but then other definitions look at success and prosperity. Mental Health is defined as a state of wellbeing by the world health organisation, but this does not mean that mental ill health is the absence of wellbeing, as wellbeing incorporates so many things.
Positive Psychology looks at subjective wellbeing. So, this is our own individual evaluation of our life. We can all evaluate life in many ways, that is the joy of everyone having their own perspective and take on things. Research has given us many ways of increasing subjective wellbeing and helping us figure out what to do when we are not feeling ‘well’.
So, what is wellbeing? It is an abundance of things. Too many to measure and count. It incorporates how many pleasant feelings we have such as joy, excitement, contentment and love. It is about how our bodies feel and how we feel within them. It is about whether our relationships are good and if our work or career prospects are moving in the direction we want. It is about our expectations and if life is living up to them. It is about whether the sun is shining, or we have enough money in our pockets to make ends meet. It is about our free time and how we use it and what we are thankful for. It is about the food we eat, the amount of sleep we get and whether we do any exercise. Wellbeing can also be about the future goals we have and if we have found a purpose or meaning to our lives. It can be relaxation, meditation, mindfulness and mindlessness. How do you bounce back when life throws you a curve ball? This can also have huge implications on your overall wellbeing. It is about mindset and learning, it can be about change and discovering new things. It is in nature, animals, people, it all matters, and my list could go on and on!
What is really important is that our wellbeing can be in the darker side of life. Things happen, often out of our control. We need wellbeing that involves anger, forgiveness, hurt but hope. Wellbeing is also in stress, sadness, loneliness and in our ability to reach out and be kind and compassionate. If you feel that you are not satisfied with your life, you maybe need to look closely and see what areas are not as you would like them. Keep in mind that some things are not in our control. You can change your attitude and behaviour towards things that are out of your control, but not the actual thing.
So, what is wellbeing? Everything! There is no magic wand or one answer to a satisfying life. Take stock of all things and start to make little changes.
Keep an eye out for more detail on the different aspects of wellbeing in further blog posts and videos. Chill your beans covers many aspects of wellbeing in adult four-week courses, (beginners and intermediate) and specialises in children’s wellbeing courses which run every half term for six weeks for ages 4 years through to 13. Let us start our wellbeing journey the right way, now.