Wellbeing Wizard

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What is Wellbeing?
Written by Mark Millard   

Wellbeing: a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous. Dictionary.com / WordNet

A sense of wellbeing is something we all seek in our lives. To feel we are flourishing and that life is going well is perhaps our ultimate goal. This article examines a little of what drives our sense of wellbeing and what we can do to promote it.

Defining Wellbeing
First, let's consider a couple more definitions and a formula for creating wellbeing. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as:

Wellbeing: The state of being or doing well in life.

Leading researchers in the field that psychologists call 'subjective wellbeing' or SWB (as distinct from organisational, national or other kinds of wellbeing) are more specific:

Subjective wellbeing is an evaluation of one’s life assessed by measures of life satisfaction, frequency of positive affect and frequency of negative affect. Sousa & Lyubomirsky 2001.

This scientific definition can also be written as a formula for creating wellbeing:

SWB = Life Satisfaction + Good Feelings - Bad Feelings

(And the formula for Life Satisfaction = The life I've got - The life I want)

So our wellbeing, our sense of how well our life is going, is driven by:

  • Our Thoughts - our satisfactions with life, our assessments of where we are compared to where we want to be
  • Our Feelings - the positive ones we have relative to the negative ones
  • Our Actions - what we do and what we don't do

And our sense of wellbeing changes, it is a state of mind which depends not only on our thoughts, feelings and actions but also on what happens to us, the events and circumstances of our lives and the genes and personality we were born with.

Promoting Wellbeing

So how does this help us nurture or enhance our wellbeing?

To Be Continued...

References Sousa & Lyubomirsky

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