What is Well-Being?

Well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high over-all life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose. More generally, well-being is just feeling well.

Emotional Well-Being — The ability to practice stress-management techniques, be resilient, and generate the emotions that lead to good feelings.

To develop emotional well-being, we need to build emotional skills — skills like positive thinkingemotion regulation, and mindfulness, for example. Often, we need to build a variety of these skills to cope with the wide variety of situations we encounter in our lives. When we have built these emotional well-being skills, we can better cope with stress, handle our emotions in the face of challenges, and quickly recover from disappointments. As a result, we can enjoy our lives a bit more and pursue our goals a bit more effectively.

Research suggests the following attributes contribute to emotional well-being:

Physical Well-Being — The ability to improve the functioning of your body through healthy eating and good exercise habits.

Here are some of the things that can help you boost your physical well-being:

  • Eating for Health
  • Detoxing Your Body
  • Correcting Nutritional Deficiencies

Social Well-Being — The ability to communicate, develop meaningful relationships with others, and maintain a support network that helps you overcome loneliness.

To develop our social well-being, we need to build our social skills — skills like gratitude, kindness, and communication. Social skills make it easier for us to have positive interactions with others, helping us to feel less lonely, angry, or disconnected. When we have developed our social well-being, we feel more meaningfully connected to others.

Research suggests the following skills contribute to better social well-being:

It’s important to know that building social well-being is one the best ways to build emotional well-being. When we feel socially connected, we also tend to just feel better, have more positive emotions, and we are able to cope better with challenges.

Workplace Well-Being — The ability to pursue your interests, values, and purpose in order to gain meaning, happiness, and enrichment professionally.

To develop our workplace well-being, we need to build skills that help us pursue what really matters to us. This can include building professional skills which help us to advance more effectively, but it also includes things like living our values and maintaining work-life balance. These skills let us enjoy our work more, helping us to stay focused, motivated, and successful at work. When we have developed workplace well-being, our work, and therefore each day, feels more fulfilling.

Here are some of the key skills you need for workplace well-being:

  • Maintaining Work-Life Balance
  • Finding Your Purpose

Societal Well-Being — The ability to actively participate in a thriving community, culture, and environment.

To develop societal well-being, we need to build skills that make us feel interconnected with all things. We need to know how to support our environment, build stronger local communities, and foster a culture of compassion, fairness, and kindness. These skills help us feel like we’re part of a thriving community that really supports one another and the world at large. When we cultivate societal well-being, we feel like we are a part of something bigger than just ourselves.

Here are some of the skills you can build for greater societal well-being:

It takes time and effort to build any new skillset which includes well-being skills.

Be realistic with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish is a given amount of time.

Growing your well-being is a lifelong pursuit, but it is a pursuit that is totally worth it.”


Sexual-Health Well-Being — “Having appreciation for one’s own body, seeking out knowledge regarding reproduction, understanding that human development includes sexual development (i.e., reproduction, genital sexual experiences), interacting with both genders respectfully and appropriately, understanding and respecting sexual orientation, appropriately expressing love and intimacy, and developing and maintaining meaningful relationships while avoiding exploitative or manipulative ones. Healthy sexuality has also been suggested to include components of communication and acceptance of love, expressing emotion and giving and receiving pleasure, having the ability to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behavior without feelings of guilt, fear, or shame.

  • Healthy sexuality may include an ability to integrate sexuality into one’s daily life, as opposed to it being some external event that occurs on its own. It may include components of affection, tenderness, and companionship between two people.
  • In an ongoing sexual relationship, both partners should be aware of the important role that sex plays in their lives. While it is important not to make sex an exaggerated area of focus, it is certainly important to recognize sexuality as a natural part of being human.
  • Humans are naturally, sexual creatures. Healthy and natural sexuality should also include an acceptance of our animal nature and a positive attitude toward our bodies, our nudity, and our sexual urges (Firestone, Firestone, & Catlett, 2006). Some theorists have described healthy sexuality as including a component of being able to attach emotions and meaning to sexual experiences.” https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/healthy-sexuality/
  • “Individuals experience higher levels of well-being when they have an active and satisfying sex life.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201707/the-secret-reason-why-sex-is-so-crucial-in-relationships

Spiritual Well-Being —” A unifying force within individuals which integrates all the other dimensions of well-being. (This may not apply to all people.)

There are varying definitions of spiritual well-being and can differ among individuals:

  • A meaning and purpose in life.
  • A common bond between individuals.
  • Individual perceptions of faith.
  • A sense of fulfillment.
  • Values and beliefs of community and self.
  • Wholeness in life.
  • [Belief in] God or a higher power.
  • Personal conviction for and an internalized connection with the existence of God or another higher power.
  • Personal belief or faith that extends beyond one’s self and provides a sense of belonging.
  • A system of unconditional meaningfulness that provides a personal sense of positive direction and fulfillment.
  • Peace and tranquility in the face of stressful situations.”
  • A sense of connection to nature.

Perrin, K. M. & McDermott, R. J. (1997). The spiritual dimension of health: A review. American Journal of Health Studies, 13 (2) p 90. Retrieved from ProQuest.

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