Wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy”.

However, wellbeing is much more complex than being happy in the present moment.

Of course, it includes happiness, but it also includes things such as someone’s sense of purpose, how satisfied they feel as a whole, about their life, how in control they feel and a number of other external factors.

The New Economics Foundation describes wellbeing thus:

“Wellbeing can be understood as how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole”.

What factors can affect our wellbeing?

Factors can be anything from how we feel ‘in ourselves’ to external factors such as our environment and our finances. Our wellbeing will change over our lives depending on these factors, here are some examples.

  • Personal wellbeing – mental health, how satisfied we feel, our sense of purpose, our worth, our resilience, our self-esteem
  • Health – both physical and mental health, are we well, do we struggle with our health
  • Relationships – are we happy in our relationships, do we have people we can rely on, do we feel lonely or isolated
  • What we do – our employment status and whether we are satisfied at work, our participation in leisure activities, our social life, volunteering, our spiritual belief system
  • Where we live – do we feel safe where we live, are we near green spaces, sense of community and belonging, satisfied with housing, do we have access to key services
  • Finance – are we satisfied with income or are we struggling
  • Environment – air and water quality where we live, access to green spaces
  • Education and skills – if we are engaged in formal or informal learning
  • Governance – how much we trust government and institutions, do we participate in democratic processes

How can we improve our wellbeing?

Whilst World Wellbeing Week may raise awareness, it is important to remember there is no ‘one size fits all’ way in which to improve our wellbeing. We will all be motivated and affected by different things that are present in our lives. What we can do is make an effort to learn about wellbeing, what makes us feel happy and what factors affect how well we cope with everyday life, which we can then use to create a personal wellbeing plan.

For example, the things that affect my well-being most are my health (both physical and mental) friends and family, my purpose at work and my self-esteem. Paying attention to these factors in my everyday life such as arranging to see those I love, having a work/life balance and being kind to others so I boost my self-esteem is really important to maintaining my wellbeing.

Some other things we already know to improve our overall wellbeing are.

  • eating a good diet
  • getting enough sleep
  • connecting with others
  • exercising
  • relaxing
  • talking about how we feel

Action for Happiness

Here at Prima Voca, we love Action for Happiness – a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. 

Based on the latest research, they identified these 10 keys that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell “GREAT DREAM”. Click on the links below to read more about each key…

Giving – Do things for others
Relating – Connect with other people
Exercising – Take care of your body
Awareness – Live life mindfully
Trying Out – Keep learning new things

Direction – Have goals to look forward to
Resilience – Find ways to bounce back
Emotions – Look for what’s good
Acceptance – Be comfortable with who you are
Meaning – Be part of something bigger

Remember, small things can make a real difference – why not try making a list of the things that make up your own personal wellbeing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *