Wellbeing Wizard

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Ways to Wellbeing
Written by Mark Millard   

Studies of twins reveal three factors that contribute different amounts to the levels of happiness and contentment we experience:

Genetic Predispositions: 50% - our genes account for about half our happiness, where we sit on the happiness curve compared to other people and how readily our natural, resting level of happiness tends to shift

Events and Circumstances: 10% - the place, time and circumstances of our lives, the events and environment around us, including the difficulties and opportunities that come our way.

However changes to our circumstances have comparatively little lasting effect on our wellbeing as our natural psychological 'immune system' helps us adapt to them quite quickly.

Balance is usually restored within a couple of months, even for quite traumatic events (unlikely though it might seem at the time). This helps us when bad things happen but when good things happen it means we quickly get used to them and seek out the next 'good thing', especially when it comes to material possessions.

Chosen Paths: 40% - while genes and circumstances are largely givens the choices we make for ourselves and the things we do and don’t do can have a sizeable effect on our wellbeing, for better and worse.

Which Paths Promote Wellbeing?

Research shows there are six broad paths to wellbeing:

  • Pleasure and enjoyment – having some fun
  • Relationships and interaction – doing things and being with other people
  • Growth and development – using your natural strengths and talents
  • Meaning and purpose – achieving things that are meaningful to you
  • Value and contribution – to something outside yourself
  • Refreshment and renewal – changing things and the way you look at them

And there is an almost infinite variety of things we can do along the way - activities, approaches and experiences which can promote these aspects of our wellbeing. The key is finding a balanced blend, a personal prescription. 

Deciding What To Do
Finding the right blend of activities and making decisions about our own wellbeing is not always easy though, partly because there are so many things we could do and partly because we’re not that good at picking the ones which have the best effects on us, we tend to ‘miswant’ things, to look for happiness and wellbeing in the wrong places and ignore some of the better ones.

Our aim is to help people make these sorts of decisons and find the activities which will have the most positive effects on their wellbeing. It works like this:

Wellbeing Questionnaire
First, our Wellbeing Questionnaireguides you through an exploration of your wellbeing in 7 major areas or Life Domains (Physical, Psychological, Relationships, Lifestyle, Direction, Feelings and Temperament).

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At the end you get to see how your wellbeing levels compare, one area of your life with another and with other people's.  You can also see in which areas, if any, there are enhancements or adjustments you might wish to make.

wellbeing questionnaire results screen print 480 wide.jpg

Suggested Activities
Your results also include a list of suggested activities & experiences, showing you which ones have worked best for people with similar scores to yours.

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Personal Plan
You can then plan, prioritise and rate the activities - which ones you'd like to try, which ones you wouldn't and the effect they have on your wellbeing.  As we add new activities and gather more feedback your results and suggestions are automatically updated.

activity rating screen print drawing 240wide.jpg   activity rating screen print skydiving 240wide.jpg

We are what we do
There are three things that affect our sense of wellbeing: our genes, our environment and the things we choose to do & don't do.  The choices and decisions we make and the habits we get into can significantly effect our wellbeing, for better or for worse.

Our questionnaires and suggestions help you explore your wellbeing, review your choices and discover activities and experiences that could work well for you. 

You can access the questionnaires via the Free Login 

We hope you enjoyed this article and the rest of the site

Best Wishes
Mark

Related Items 
More about the Questionnaires  More about the Activities


References
PsyBlog: Sustainable Happiness: Why it's all about the day to day.
This article describes some of the research into the relationship between activities and wellbeing, including why the activities we choose have around four times more effect on our wellbeing than the situations we're in.

Daniel Gilbert: Stumbling On Happiness
This book explores why we sometimes make rather poor decisions about our own wellbeing, including our tendency to 'miswant' and make inaccurate predictions about what will and won't make us happy.

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