What is Wellbeing?

Even every aspect of your life influences your state of wellbeing, some people believe that wealth is a fast track to happiness. Various international studies have shown that it is the quality of our personal relationships, not the size of our bank balances, which has the greatest effect on our state of wellbeing.

Wellbeing is not just the absence of disease or illness. It complexly combines a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social health factors. Wellbeing is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction and could be described as how you feel about yourself and your life.

Researchers investigating happiness have found the following factors enhance a person’s wellbeing:

  • A happy intimate relationship with a partner
  • The network of close friends
  • An enjoyable and fulfilling career
  • Enough money
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Spiritual or religious beliefs
  • Fun hobbies and leisure pursuits
  • Healthy self-esteem
  • Realistic and achievable goals
  • Sense of purpose and meaning
  • A sense of belonging
  • The ability to adapt to change
  • Living in a fair and democratic society.

The factors that influence wellbeing are interrelated. For example, a job provides not just money but purpose, goals, friendships and a sense of belonging. Some factors also make up for the lack of others; for example, a good marriage can compensate for a lack of friendships, while religious beliefs may help a person come to terms with physical illness.

We link money to wellbeing because having enough money improves living conditions and increases social status. Many people believe that wealth is a fast track to happiness, but believing that money is the key to happiness can also harm a person’s wellbeing.

Wellbeing is important but seems a little hard to come by. One study into mental health found that, while one in four respondents was depressed, only one in five was happy, the rest fell somewhere between, neither happy nor depressed. A recent consumer study into wellbeing showed that:

  • 58% wish they could spend more time on improving their health and wellbeing.
  • 79% of parents with children aged less than 18 years of age wish they could spend more time on improving their health and wellbeing.
  • 83% are prepared to pay more money for products or services that enhance their feelings of wellbeing.

A survey of young people found that eight in every 10 reported feeling satisfied with their lives, including how they felt about their work, studies, income, and relationships. However, this positive picture is contradicted by another survey, which found that about half of all young are grappling with a difficult problem such as depression or alcohol abuse.

How to achieve wellbeing:

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with family and friends.
  • Make the regular time available for social contact.
  • Try to find work you find enjoyable and rewarding, rather than just working for the best pay.
  • Eat wholesome, nutritious foods.
  • Do regular physical activity.
  • Become involved in activities that interest you.
  • Join local organizations or clubs that appeal to you.
  • Set yourself achievable goals and work towards them.
  • Try to be optimistic and enjoy each day.