What Is Well-Being And How Can It Be Improved?

In psychology, the word “well-being” is frequently used to characterize healthy people. It is frequently linked to feelings of contentment, happiness, or fulfillment.

However, there is disagreement over what well-being is and how to spell it. [1] With so much ambiguity around the term, people are frequently left wondering what well-being is and how to get it.

Three questions will be answered in this article:

  • What is well-being?
  • How is it measured?
  • How is it improved?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What Is Well-Being?
  2. How Is Well-Being Measured?
    • Objective Well-Being
    • Subjective Well-Being
  3. How to Improve Well-Being
  4. Takeaways
  5. More Tips For Your Well-Being

What Is Well-Being?

Well-being is made up of a variety of emotional states as well as lifestyle variables. Happiness and contentment are two feelings that may be connected with it.

Feelings of fulfillment, attaining one’s potential, having some influence over one’s life, and engaging in meaningful relationships are all possible lifestyle variables.

Positive mental health is also linked to happiness. [2] In layman’s words, it’s a concept that encompasses many aspects of life, including psychological, physical, and social well-being. Happiness, health, pleasant sentiments, welfare, and wellbeing are all synonyms for it. [3]

It’s also known as homeostasis or a condition of equilibrium. This equilibrium is attained by having sufficient resources to deal with life’s obstacles. [4] Physical, psychological, and social difficulties and resources may all be found in these three domains.

Well-being is lost when there are several problems and insufficient resources. Humans, on the other hand, are meant to strive for a condition of equilibrium. Interpersonal, professional, and personal success are all connected to happiness.

It frequently leads to higher job efficiency, enhanced learning and creativity, prosocial conduct, and satisfying relationships. [5]

Why is it so difficult to describe happiness? It’s likely because it includes a wide range of life events and emotional states that differ from person to person. Several tools have been developed to assist people with self-evaluation.

How Is Well-Being Measured?

To reliably assess well-being, researchers must agree on a uniform definition. As a result, an acceptable measure must cover all aspects of well-being, both as an emotional state and as a way of life.

To put it another way, an effective measurement considers both life satisfaction and functionality. Well-being may be divided into two types: objective and subjective well-being.

Objective Well-Being

The term “objective well-being” refers to a person’s level of life. This is useful for study on civilizations, countries, or people groupings. Education, income, safety, and life expectancy are all factors to consider. [6]

Six research topics relevant to objective well-being have been recognized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Italian Statistics Bureau:

  1. Health
  2. Job opportunities
  3. Socioeconomic development
  4. Politics
  5. Safety
  6. Environment

Subjective Well-Being

Subjective well-being is a psychological and emotional evaluation of one’s life. Life satisfaction and happiness are two popular subjective metrics.

Subjective well-being can be used to forecast mental health trends. [7] It is inherently determined by the individual. This evaluates how people feel on the inside, regardless of how others view their lives on the outside.

Subjective well-being is divided into two types: hedonic and contented well-being. Feelings, emotions, and moods are all part of the hedonic component.

The satisfaction component is concerned with one’s ideas and whether or not they believe their life has been fulfilled.

Individuals frequently compare their ideas and feelings to their social and cultural origins. It’s critical to examine the setting in which a person lives. Individuals may have diverse perspectives on their life as a result of societal and cultural expectations.

Furthermore, individuals cannot be measured without taking into account their surroundings. Subjective well-being was identified as an essential element in measuring well-being by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2013.

Self-report measures are frequently used to assess it since it is experienced by the individual. In other words, people use psychological exams to assess their own degree of happiness. [8]

There are five areas associated with subjective well-being:

  1. Genetic factors
  2. Basic and psychological needs
  3. Social environment
  4. Economics and income
  5. Political environment

How to Improve Well-Being

Individuals may increase their feeling of well-being in a variety of ways. It’s a complicated system with a lot of moving parts.

As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, the objective should be to take a comprehensive strategy that takes into account a range of elements.
The methods listed below are not all-inclusive.

What works for one person might not be the best strategy for another. Instead, these methods should be viewed as ideas for bettering one’s well-being.
Appointments with a psychologist, therapist, or medical practitioner are recommended for those seeking a really complete examination of their well-being.

These individuals may also provide resources, prescribe medication, or share tips for making lifestyle changes to assist in overall improvement.

1. Spend Time in Nature

There is evidence to back up the idea that interacting with nature improves one’s happiness. Positive emotions, happiness, and subjective well-being all rise as a result of this.

Spending time in nature has also been connected to a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life, as well as the ability to deal with life’s problems. [9]

Spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week was linked to better health, according to one research.

It didn’t matter in the study whether the time was spent all at once or over the course of a week. Between 200 and 300 minutes of nature time each week, peak increases in well-being were observed[10]

2. Practice Gratitude

Individuals who have thankfulness as a personality attribute have a higher level of happiness. The openness to perceive the undeserved worth in one’s experience is referred to as trait appreciation. State gratitude is a sensation that develops when people are touched by an act of generosity and feel compelled to repay it.

During Covid-19 in China, one research evaluated state appreciation. Individuals were told to the journal for 14 days while practicing thankfulness, with a one-month follow-up.

Gratitude practiced in a natural setting at times of high stress and anxiety resulted in improved good sentiments and life satisfaction, according to the study. However, after one month, the improved life satisfaction did not last. [11]

There is evidence to support a daily practice of writing and thankfulness for enhanced well-being as a consequence of the aforementioned study.

When feasible, people should practice both trait and state appreciation. These habits will develop over time and contribute to long-term progress.

3. Develop Increased Awareness

Positive subjective experience, greater self-regulation, and goal-directed behavior, and effective relationships with others are all linked to heightened awareness.

Meta-awareness can help you increase your awareness. The capacity to consciously recognize an emotion, idea or sensory experience is known as meta-awareness.

It is something that can be learned. Meta-awareness may be taught in two ways: mindfulness-based meditation and psychotherapy. Meditations on kindness and compassion have both been related to increased happiness.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are two therapies that might help you become more conscious. [12]

4. Achieve Work-Life Balance

The workplace has the ability to benefit or damage an individual. Factors at work that have a detrimental influence on well-being include:

  • Demands or pressures at work
  • Lack of independence or flexibility
  • Relationships between coworkers and supervisors are strained.
  • Work in shifts
  • Workdays that are longer

Employers may directly enhance their employees’ well-being by giving paid time off, opportunities for wage advancement, assistance for those with disabilities or those returning after an accident, and healthcare access. Workplace and job structure improvements may also be beneficial. [13]

Both workers and their companies benefit from worker well-being. It has been linked to improvements in:

  • Workplace performance
  • Stress management and self-control
  • Relationships that are satisfying, prosocial communication, and collaboration
  • Immune system performance
  • Physical and mental well-being are also important.

Burnout, stress, and sleep-related disorders are all reduced when employees are happy to work.[14]

5. Seek Out Positive Relationships

Individuals who have loving and pleasant relationships are more likely to be happy. Poor social interactions, on the other hand, can be more harmful than binge drinking and smoking.

Positive social interactions also aid in the prevention of mental illnesses like sadness and anxiety.

Prosocial actions are critical for building social bonds that lead to higher happiness. Gratitude and appreciation are both pro-social qualities.

Focusing on the good characteristics and deeds of others, for example. Empathy for others is also linked to higher levels of happiness. Finally, giving is a major predictor of happiness in life. [15]

6. Stay Hopeful

Hope is a notion that is frequently associated with spiritual and religious practices. However, it was not until the twentieth century that it made its way into the field of psychology.

It’s become a key concept in positive psychology. Hope is described as the idea that circumstances can improve and that one’s aims can be achieved.

An increase in: is linked to an increase in hope.

  • Adjustment of emotions
  • Feelings of happiness
  • Life contentment and quality of life are important factors to consider.
  • A sense of purpose and social support

Takeaways

Well-being is a difficult-to-define concept that has been frequently referenced in psychological literature. It’s associated with sentiments of joy and fulfillment. It’s also known as a sense of purpose or contentment with one’s life.

There must be an agreed-upon definition in order to correctly measure it. It has been divided into objective and subjective categories in general.

Social and cultural constructions are taken into account when determining objective well-being. The term “subjective well-being” refers to a person’s own feeling of well-being.

Individuals may do a variety of activities to increase their well-being. However, no single factor can make a significant difference. Rather, a comprehensive approach to mental and physical wellness is required.

Individuals who spend time in nature, form strong relationships, practice gratitude, remain hopeful, and develop awareness, however, have a better chance of feeling better.

Reference:

  1. International Journal of Wellbeing: The challenge of defining wellbeing

2. BMC: Well-being is more than happiness and life satisfaction: a multidimensional analysis of 21 countries

3. SpringerLink: Well-Being: Physical, Psychological, Social

4. International Journal of Wellbeing: The challenge of defining wellbeing

5. BMC: Well-being is more than happiness and life satisfaction: a multidimensional analysis of 21 countries

6. ScienceDirect: Current recommendations on the selection of measures for well-being

7. ScienceDirect: Current recommendations on the selection of measures for well-being

8. SpringerLink: Measuring objective and subjective well-being: dimensions and data sources

9. Science Advances: Nature and mental health: An ecosystem service perspective

10. Nature: Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing

11. Oxford Academic: Feeling Gratitude is Associated With Better Well-Being Across the Lifespan: A Daily Diary Study During the Covid-19 Outbreak

12. PNAS: The plasticity of well-being: A training-based framework for the cultivation of human flourishing

13. Sage Journals: The Value of Worker Well-Being

14. SpringerLink: Workplace happiness, well-being and their relationship with psychological capital: A study of Hungarian Teachers

15. PNAS: The plasticity of well-being: A training-based framework for the cultivation of human flourishing

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