If you don’t know where you are going you will likely end up somewhere else.
Do you look around you and feel others seem to have their life together in a way that you don’t?
Do you wonder how others are contented and you aren’t?
Do you wonder where they get all the energy from?
Do you think it is all chance?
Feeling a sense of well-being is something we each recognise easily in others and in ourselves in an ethereal way. We relate it to feeling energised, contented, purposeful and happy.
Ordinarily we are only aware of it when things are very right or very wrong, in other words when we feel very happy or very sad. So while it is a state we all recognise, the question is can we do anything to enhance or to protect our sense of well-being.
To maintain our well-being and happiness we need to know the factors that influence it. Thereafter you can look at your own situation and what you can do to change or improve this important aspect of your own life.
Well-being is not entirely measurable or clear cut but rather seems to be subtle and personal. Perhaps this is why we leave it, expecting it to occur in some magic way.
It is helpful to consider it like a dynamic ever moving mobile where all factors are interconnected to each other and in turn each affecting the overall balance.
In definitive terms, we can say that well-being involves an everyday feeling of meaningful achievement in the four quadrants of our lives work, family, social, and self. We can envisage these then as the four arms of the mobile. What is meaningful in terms of achievement will also differ individually.
Intrinsic to this definition is the understanding that we are not workers only and therefore work alone will not keep us happy , nor will meeting all our social needs do so. In reality our needs span the physical, social and self actualisation aspects of our being. They relate to the many dimensions of ourselves that make us what we are. Also our needs vary depending on where we are in our lives. In our teens and twenties the social aspect of life is more important to us than later when family and children dominate.
So you could helpfully ask yourself a few questions.
- Do I know what is important to me at this point in my life?
- What has changed for me in the past ten years in terms of what I prioritise.
- Have I a sense of moving forward in a meaningful way?
If you cannot answer these questions you may find that you are more of a responder to life rather than taking an active role in where you are going. You may need to look at that.
Being a new enough science psychology has in the past decades focused considerably on fixing what goes wrong. The same can be said of medicine and psychiatry. Now however with the advent of new technologies, a view of the neurology of the brain and of mood has allowed us to learn more about the factors that keep us happy and well.
In other words we can see physical changes in the brain when mood changes which for the very first time has allowed research to occur in to the factors which influence our sense of well-being and happiness.
The research to date shows us that well- being is strongly linked to
- Looking forward to something
- Being actively appreciative of what you have as opposed to focusing on what you do not have
- It is a state of harmony when change is not sought.
- If you want to become more active in safe-guarding your well-being you might like to think about..
- Choosing rather than juggling
- Mapping your life more
- Setting aims and objectives
- Focusing on the positives
- Aiming for meaning as well as enjoyment
- Aim for happiness