What is it all about?
Wellbeing relates to our physical, emotional and mental health. Personal and community wellbeing depend on levels of positive physical, emotional and mental health.
Having high levels of positive wellbeing leads to life satisfaction and raised levels of happiness.
But how do we get there?
The good news is that 40% of our happiness and wellbeing is within our control. It is influenced by our daily habits, behaviours, mindset and intentional activities. This scientifically researched theory sets out below what determines the rest of our happiness.
Research by: Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., and Schkade, D. (2005), 'Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change', Review of General Psychology, 9, 111-131.
If it is that easy why isn't our wellbeing great all the time?
We can all fall into the trap of looking for happiness and wellbeing in the wrong places. Research has shown that when asked what would make someone happy there tends to be a range of responses:
- Losing weight
- More money
- A relationship
- A baby
- A bigger house
- A holiday
- A new car
Research also shows....none of these changes in circumstances will make you substantially happier. This only accounts for 10% of our happiness. The Western society in which we live today can sometimes make us believe that material objects can bring lasting happiness. Social media is a wonderful tool in so many ways - bringing people together. However it can often lead to social comparison, which is 'the death of joy' - Mark Twain
So how do we develop positive physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and create increased levels of happiness?
5 Ingredients to a flourishing life (Seligman)
P Positive emotions: Experiencing gratitude, happiness, hope, joy and love
E Engagement: Be in the moment
R Relationships: Connect with others, love and be loved
M Meaning: Find your purpose
A Accomplishment: Pursue and accomplish your goals
Once we shift our mindsets and intentionally pursue activities which support our wellbeing we can then experience the...'Broaden and Build Theory' (Fredrickson)
When we experience positive emotions it broadens our thoughts and allows us to build on our personal resources and creates upward spirals of wellbeing:
Intellectual: open to learning and problem solving
Social: Maintaining relationships and creating new ones
Psychological: resilience, optimism, sense of identity and goal orientation
But what can I actually do to increase positive wellbeing?
There are hundreds of small activities that you can add to your daily routine to create
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exercises, book recommendations and wellbeing tips for you to try.
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