What is wellbeing?
Having high levels of wellbeing is something deeply personal. It means something different to each and everyone of us. At the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, we place wellbeing in the context of having positive states of mental health. In other words, we see wellbeing in the context of being able to feel well, function to our fullest ability, and having a sense of belonging to our community.
- Feeling well: our wellbeing is influenced by whether we feel more positive than negative emotions and whether we feel satisfied with our life. This aspect of wellbeing is called ‘subjective’ or hedonic wellbeing.
- Functioning fully: being able to live the best life we possible can, by having meaning in our life, developing positive relationships, and being able to grow as human to name a few, directly impacts our well-being. This aspect of wellbeing is called ‘psychological’ or eudaimonic wellbeing
- Social belonging: humans are social creatures. If we feel supported by our community and feel like we are included in society, we can truly thrive. This aspect of wellbeing is called ‘social’ wellbeing.
Why should I work on my wellbeing?
Having high levels of wellbeing is an allround positive influence. It means you can better deal with stress and are more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle, you won’t fall ill as often and you’ll increase your lifespan. You are more likely to have more positive relationships and experience more meaning to your life.
It is good for your mental health, as high levels of wellbeing can protect you of developing mental illness in the future, and it is great for your physical health, as you are more likely to want to stay active.
But wellbeing, as with anything else in life, goes up and down. We are constantly influenced by factors that boost our wellbeing and factors than can lower it. Just how much depends on the individual. Making sure that people have access to enough resources (mental, physical, social and everything else) to take on the challenges we all inevitably face is our centre's core business.
Can I improve my wellbeing?
The good news is that you can actively improve wellbeing, in more ways than you can imagine. You can use psychological skills training (like the one we offer), you can practice yoga, spend more time in nature, work on your physical activity or spend more time with your friends, family and loved ones.
Some have more room to improve than others. If you have low wellbeing you are likely to see immediate changes if you engage in some of the activities above. For instance, our research clearly show that people with low wellbeing show significant improvements after participating in our training.
Don't worry if you already feel like your wellbeing is high. Working on your resources now can help bolster your ability to deal with challenges in the future. In other words, it will help boost your resilience.
Where do I start?
- Go and take our wellbeing measurement, which will give you an easy-to-understand report on key factors to your wellbeing. You will quickly find out which areas are going well and which can be improved.
- Use the measurement results to learn a bit more about specific models to wellbeing. They give you clear areas to target if you want to improve your wellbeing. One of those models is the PERMA+ model; the model that underpinned a lot of our Centre's early work.
- Start experimenting. Use the report to guide you to activities you can start trying out. Some will work for you, some won't. Some you will like, so you won't. After a while you will know which activities to include into your own wellbeing strategy.
Need something straight forward? Go and check out our training.