Skip to content

What is wellbeing and why is it important?

What is wellbeing? and how to improve your wellness? Here is my summary about well-being and how to improve your overall wellness.

Well-being is a concept that has been at the forefront of many people’s minds lately.

If you’re like most people, the term “well-being” probably conjures up images of yoga mats and green smoothies. While it’s true that eating healthy and exercising regularly are important components of well-being, there’s a lot more to it than that.

What Is Well-Being? 

Well-being can be defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy, happy, or prosperous.

Personal well being is often used interchangeably with happiness or life satisfaction. 

Well-being is more than just feeling happy – it also includes feeling good about yourself and your life, having positive relationships, and enjoying good physical health. 

It’s about feeling good mentally, emotionally, and physically. When you’re in a state of well-being, you have a sense of balance and well-being in your life. You feel overall that you’re living a meaningful life.

This definition takes on a slightly different meaning regarding workplace well-being.

Workplace well-being encompasses both physical and mental health, as well as overall satisfaction with one’s job.

Well-Being Concepts/ Theories

There are many different well-being theories out there.

Some well-known theories include Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Aristotle’s Virtue Theory, and the PERMA Model.

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a well-known theory that suggests that humans have certain needs that must be met to achieve well-being. These needs include things like food and shelter, safety, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization.
  • Aristotle’s Virtue Theory suggests that well-being is achieved by living a life of virtue. Virtue is defined as a character trait that helps us achieve good results in our lives. Some examples of virtues include things like courage, wisdom, and justice.
  • The PERMA Model is a well-being theory that suggests there are five key elements to well-being: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment.

Here’s a video that explains Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

5 Factors That Influence Our Wellbeing

We all want to be happy and have a sense of well-being. But what exactly are the factors that influence our well-being?

Let’s take a look at the five main factors that have been identified.

1. Genetic Factors

Our genes influence how well we cope with stress and how resilient we are to change.

There is no single factor that determines our well-being more than genetics.

Scientists have long recognized our genes’ role in our physical health, determining everything from what diseases we might be susceptible to and what types of exercise are best suited to our unique abilities.

But many people don’t realize that genetics also play a significant role in determining our emotional well-being.

Research has shown that certain genetic variations can make us more or less prone to stress and anxiety or more likely to experience joy and happiness in response to positive life events.

Additionally, genes can even influence the lifestyle changes we are likely to make to achieve greater happiness and contentment.

In short, our genetic makeup plays a major role in determining what type of conditions we need for optimal wellness, making it an essential consideration for anyone who is seeking a healthier and happier life.

LYR Dance

2. Environmental Factors

Our well-being is determined by many different environmental factors.

Some of the most obvious include our access to clean water, healthy food, and sufficient shelter.

We are more likely to flourish if we live in a safe and supportive environment.

This includes the physical environment we live in and the people around us.

For example, if you live in a safe neighborhood with friendly neighbors, you’re likelier to be happy than if you live in a dangerous area with unfriendly people.

Our well-being can also be influenced by other elements of our physical environment, such as our level of exposure to pollution and noise, the presence or absence of nearby green spaces, and even the weather conditions in our area.

So choosing to live somewhere in a natural environment free from toxins and pollution will reduce the risk of physical illness and produce positive outcomes.

These factors all play a role in shaping our health, happiness, and overall sense of well-being.

While they may seem out of our control at times, it is important that we stay informed about what influences them so that we can make informed decisions to help improve and protect our own well-being and that of others around us.

After all, we are all interconnected regarding what impacts both our individual and collective environments – what affects one person’s life has a ripple effect on those around them.

3. Social Factors

There is no denying the fact that our well-being is strongly influenced by social factors.

Whether we are talking about relationships, community engagement, or our level of access to resources, every aspect of our lives can shape our emotional and physical health in one way or another.

People with strong social relationships are generally happier than those without.

To truly understand what it means to be well, we must take a holistic view of what contributes to our overall sense of well-being.

At the most basic level, our relationships with others are fundamental in shaping how satisfied and fulfilled we feel.

Whether it’s the support and comfort provided by family and friends, or the sense of belonging we get in groups and communities, these close ties can make all the difference regarding mental health and happiness.

While many people associate social connections with a feeling of positivity and hope, they can also bring challenges as we face difficult times together. But what if you aren’t surrounded by people who offer you support?

This is when creating your own community becomes absolutely essential to overall well-being.

Beyond what happens within our personal circles, broader social structures also play a huge role in influencing health outcomes for individuals.

By making proactive decisions about what truly makes us feel good about ourselves and connect with others, we set ourselves up for lasting fulfillment and happiness.

This is because social relationships provide us with a sense of belonging and support, which are both important for our well-being.

4. Lifestyle Choices

Our lifestyle choices can also impact our well-being. That’s why there’s so much focus on maintaining work life balance.

When it comes to well-being, we can make many lifestyle choices that significantly impact our overall health and happiness.

Some of the most important factors include what we eat, how much exercise we get, and how much time we spend connecting with others.

At the most basic level, eating a nutritious diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help power our bodies, giving us energy and support for all the activities we need each day.

Additionally, exercise can be an important way to boost mood and improve mental functioning while also helping to reduce stress and promote restful sleep at night.

Finally, spending time with friends and family can help us feel more connected in our lives, which research has shown is crucial for improving both physical and mental well-being.

So if you want to start living a healthier and happier life, focus on making smarter lifestyle choices today!

5. Economic Factors

Finally, our economic situation also has an impact on our happiness.

People with enough money to meet their basic needs tend to experience more positive mental health than those without.

This is because financial security gives us a sense of safety and stability, which are both important for our well-being.

On the surface, we may have different goals and values and unique definitions of what it means to be happy or content.

However, on a deeper level, some common economic factors can often influence our sense of economic well-being.

For example, one key factor is income level: generally speaking, people who are better off financially tend to report higher levels of well-being than those with lower incomes.

This may be due to access to material goods and services that make life easier or more enjoyable or simply because having enough money allows us greater freedom and flexibility in spending our time.

Another key factor is employment status: those who are unemployed usually have lower levels of well-being than those who have jobs.

This may be due to the stress associated with unemployment (both financial and social) and the fact that an active job search requires us to commit time and energy outside of what might be considered free time per se.

Many factors influence our financial well-being.

Some of these factors, such as genetics, are beyond our control. However, there are other factors that we can control, such as our social relationships and psychological state.

Focusing on these factors can improve our chances of being happy and having a sense of well-being.

The 8 Areas Of Well-Being

1. Physical well-being 

Physical well-being is more than just what we eat or how much exercise we get.

To be truly healthy, we also need to care for the various areas of our bodies, from our skin and hair to our heart and muscles.

To accomplish this, it is important to focus on things like nutrition, sleep, hydration, and stress management. You want to avoid processed food, and you don’t want to accidentally miss important foods.

By taking care of these aspects of our health, we can create a foundation for true physical well-being that supports us both physically and mentally in all we do.

There are countless ways to cultivate a physically healthy lifestyle, such as eating a nutritious diet, developing good exercise habits, or meditating daily.

For more on this topic, refer to our article “16 Easy Ways To Improve Your Physical Fitness“.

2. Mental well-being 

Mental well-being is about taking care of your mental health.

Our psychological well being is impacted by factors such as managing stress, staying positive, and getting help when you need it.

There are many different factors that can contribute to one’s overall sense of well-being, including emotional skills, physical, social, and spiritual aspects.

Some ways to cultivate greater well-being include spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness and meditation, exercising regularly, and maintaining healthy relationships with others.

Ultimately, what matters most is finding what works for you personally and taking steps to nurture and protect your own unique well-being.

Whether you’re just starting out on your journey towards greater positivity or are a seasoned self-care warrior, there is always something new to be learned from this complex but essential area of human experience.

For more on this topic, refer to our article on identifying and addressing mental health problems.

3. Emotional well-being

This is about being in touch with your feelings and managing them in a healthy way. 

It includes managing stress, staying positive, having positive emotions more often than not, and expressing your feelings healthily. (I use a journal to do this)

While many different aspects are involved in emotional well-being, one particularly crucial area is our relationships with others.

Whether a close friendship or a passionate romantic relationship, having positive and supportive relationships can help boost our overall mood and improve our sense of self-worth.

Additionally, social interactions encourage us to be more active and outside of our comfort zones, allowing us to experience new challenges and learn from our mistakes.

Ultimately, what makes emotional well-being so important is how it enables us to live full and happy lives.

By fostering healthy relationships with others, we can cultivate the emotional areas of well-being needed to be truly happy and fulfilled.

4. Social well-being

Social areas of well-being encompass our relationships and interactions with those around us.

Whether it’s spending time with family, engaging in meaningful conversations with friends, or simply having regular interactions with coworkers and neighbors, being involved in your thriving community, and networking.

These social connections can significantly affect our overall sense of well-being and positive functioning.

By embracing social activities and building lasting relationships, we can help to create a happier and more fulfilled life for ourselves and those around us.

So if you’re looking to boost your own well-being or that of someone else, don’t forget to put the social back into your life!

5. Spiritual well-being 

LYR yoga

Spiritual well-being is one of the most important aspects of overall well-being.

Spiritual well-being is about having a sense of purpose and meaning in your life.

It includes being connected to something bigger than yourself, having a positive outlook on life, and valuing your own beliefs and values.

This includes things like fostering a sense of connection with others, pursuing personal growth and meaning in life, and nurturing feelings of self-worth and confidence.

To achieve this kind of well-being, engaging in activities that nourish the soul, such as meditating or practicing mindfulness, connecting with nature, or exploring one’s spirituality through prayer or rituals, is necessary.

Whether you are seeking to cultivate greater inner peace or simply exploring what it means to live a fulfilling life, focusing on spiritual areas of well-being can be a powerful way to gain personal fulfillment and contentment.

So if you’re looking for ways to improve your overall well-being, start by nourishing your soul!

6. Financial well-being

When it comes to our financial well-being, there are several key areas that we need to consider.

At the most basic level, we must ensure that we have enough monthly money to cover all our essential expenses.

This is about managing your finances in a way that meets your needs and helps you achieve your personal finance goals. It includes budgeting, saving, and investing.

This involves maintaining a healthy work/life balance and taking steps to boost our income, such as investing in education or pursuing additional sources of revenue. In addition, it is also important to think carefully about what you are spending your hard-earned money on.

That means eliminating expenses like unnecessary luxury items and putting more money towards things like better investments or a secure retirement fund.

When it comes down to it, your overall financial well-being will depend not just on what you earn but what you do with what you have earned.

So if you want to achieve genuine financial well-being, focus on the long term and be mindful of what you spend today.

7. Environmental well-being

At its core, well-being refers to a sense of balance and happiness in all areas of your life – social, physical, or mental.

This can be defined as what we like to call the three Ps: people, plants, and place.

Simply spending time with others in a meaningful way or experiencing satisfying activities can help to promote well-being.

To foster feelings of community, it is essential to invest in local parks, libraries, and other shared spaces where people can come together to connect and share ideas.

Likewise, attuning ourselves to plants and the natural world around us has boosted our mood and reduced stress levels.

Having access to fresh air and natural sunlight in our daily lives helps keep us energized and strong.

Finally, finding ways to connect with our surroundings – whether through urban gardening or scenic walks – can also significantly benefit our overall health and well-being.

Environmental well-being is about taking care of the environment. It includes reducing your carbon footprint, recycling, and composting so we can have a space to facilitate our well-being.

8. Occupational well-being 

What makes you feel wholly and truly happy at work depends on several factors, from what kind of environment you work in to what your role entails, what coworkers you have, and more.

The occupational areas that tend to be most conducive to overall well-being are those that involve meaningful work, a sense of community and collaboration, improving professional skills, flexibility, independence, and autonomy.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent looking for part-time opportunities with flexible hours or a high-powered executive longing for a greater sense of control over your day-to-day activities, looking for a career path that caters to what matters most is crucial for overall well-being at work.

Occupational well-being is about having a job that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals. It includes finding a job that you enjoy, having a work/life balance, and being compensated fairly.

So whether you want a change of scenery or are simply interested in exploring all your options, it’s never too late to start investing in your life by focusing on what truly fosters well-being.

What Are Some Barriers To Well-Being?

There are many different barriers to well-being. 

Three barriers to having well-being are stress, anxiety, and addiction. Let’s take a look at each of these in a bit more detail.

Well-being barrier #1: Stress

Stress is a barrier to well-being because it can lead to physical and mental health problems.

When we’re stressed, our bodies release hormones like cortisol, which can have negative effects on our health over time. Stress can also lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

There are different types of stress that women can experience, including:

  • Work stress
  • Relationship stress
  • Financial stress
  • Parenting stress

Well-being barrier #2: Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression make it difficult to focus on the positive aspects of our lives and can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse.

These mental health disorders can also make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships, which is another important part of well-being.

Well-being barrier #3: Addiction

Addiction is a barrier to well-being because it can lead to physical and mental health problems, financial instability, and social isolation. Addiction can also cause relationship problems and make it difficult to maintain healthy friendships and family ties.

These are just a few of the many different barriers to well-being. If you’re struggling with any of these issues, please reach out for help. There are resources available to you. You don’t have to go through this alone.

How Is Well-Being Measured?

There are many different ways to measure well-being. 

3 Well-Being Measures:

  1. Self-reported well-being is when people rate their well-being on a scale.
  2. Objective well-being is when well-being is measured by factors like health and income.
  3. World Happiness Report is a well-being measure that ranks countries by their happiness levels.

Six Ways You Can Improve Your Well-Being

1. Practice Gratitude

A grateful outlook is a key contributor to well-being. Gratitude leads to greater happiness, stronger relationships, and improved physical health.

More grateful people tend to have more fulfilling social lives and feel more connected to others.

Gratitude also leads to increased self-esteem, optimism, and motivation. well-being is the state of being comfortable, healthy, and happy.

Gratitude is associated with greater well-being in several ways. For example, gratitude has been found to lead to:

  • increased happiness,
  • stronger relationships,
  • improved physical health,
  • increased self-esteem,
  • optimism, and
  • motivation.

Gratitude is a key contributor to well-being because it helps us focus on our positive aspects. When we are grateful, we are more likely to see the good in others and ourselves. Gratitude also leads us to appreciate the present moment and savor our positive experiences.

So take a moment today to think about what you are grateful for. You might be surprised at how much your well-being improves as a result!

Well-being improves when we take time to focus on the things that we are grateful for.

2. Prioritize Your Mental Health

We feel more balanced and well-rounded when we care for our mental health.

This can be achieved by setting realistic goals, practicing meditation or mindfulness, and spending time with love.

Five ways to improve Mental health

1. Get regular exercise

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and boost cognitive function.

Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that have mood-boosting effects. Additionally, exercise can help reduce stress hormones such as cortisol levels.

2. Get enough sleep

Sleep is another important factor in mental health. Most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep can help to improve mood, cognitive function, and energy levels.

Additionally, sleep helps to reduce levels of stress hormones and can even help to protect the brain against damage.

photo of sleeping woman
(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)

3. Eat a healthy diet

What you eat also affects your mental health. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help improve mood and cognitive function.

Conversely, eating a diet high in processed foods and sugar can negatively affect mental health.

Eating a healthy diet can also help reduce stress hormones and inflammation levels.

4. Reduce stress

Stress is a major contributing factor to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, reducing stress is essential for maintaining good mental health.

There are many ways to reduce stress, including exercise, relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, and spending time with friends or family members.

5. Seek professional help

If you are struggling with your mental health, it is important to seek professional help from a qualified therapist or counselor. Talking to someone who understands your problems and can offer helpful advice can be incredibly beneficial.

If you are feeling suicidal or are otherwise in danger of harming yourself, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room

3. Improve Your Emotional Health

This can be done by expressing yourself through art, journaling, or talking to a therapist.

Five ways to improve emotional health

1. Get enough sleep

Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep can help to improve your mood, reduce stress levels, and boost your overall emotional health.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet can also help to improve your emotional health. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit your intake of processed foods and sugary drinks.

group of friends eating healthy food

3. Exercise regularly

Exercise is a great way to improve your emotional health. It can help to reduce stress levels, lift your mood, and give you a sense of accomplishment.

4. Take time for yourself

It’s important to take time for yourself every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Do something that you enjoy, such as reading, taking a bath, or spending time with friends or family.

5. Seek professional help

If you’re struggling with your emotional health, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.

4. Improve Your Social Wellbeing

Connecting with others is also important for well-being. When we have strong social connections, we feel supported and loved. 

This includes spending time with friends and family, volunteering, or networking.

Five ways to improve Social Well being

1. Get a pet

Pets are a great way to improve your social health, as they provide companionship and unconditional love. Studies have shown that owning a pet can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and promote happiness and well-being.

Additionally, pets can help to encourage you to get outside and be active, which is important for both your physical and mental health.

what is wellbeing, photo of woman with pet dog
(Photo by Meruyert Gonullu)

2. Join a club or group

Joining a club or group is a great way to meet new people and make friends.

Whether you’re interested in sports or the arts or just want to find others who share your hobbies, there’s sure to be a club or group out there for you.

Getting involved in activities with others can help to reduce loneliness and isolation and can also promote feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

3. Volunteer

Volunteering is another great way to meet new people and make friends while also giving back to the community. There are many different ways to volunteer, so you’re sure to find an opportunity that interests you.

Volunteering can help you feel good about yourself and provide a sense of purpose.

4. Attend social events

Attending social events is a great way to get out of the house and meet new people.

Whether you attend concerts and festivals, explore outdoors, or just play board games with friends, social events allow you to have fun and connect with others.

If you’re feeling shy or introverted, try attending events with someone you know so that you have someone to talk to.

5. Use social media wisely

Social media can be both good and bad for your social health.

While it’s great for staying connected with friends and family members who live far away, it’s important to limit your time on social media so that you don’t become isolated from the real world.

If you’re spending more time on social media than interacting with people in person, it may be time to take a break from it.

5. Level up Your Spiritual health

This can be done through nature, religion, or simply practicing mindfulness.

Five ways to improve your Spiritual health

1. Get in touch with your higher power.

No matter your beliefs, connecting with a higher power can help you feel more grounded and centered. Take some time each day to pray, meditate, or simply reflect on what is most important to you.

You may also want to consider attending religious services or participating in other spiritual activities that are meaningful to you.

2. Be grateful for what you have.

One of the quickest ways to improve your spiritual health is to focus on gratitude. When you take time to appreciate the good in your life, you open yourself up to even more blessings.

Gratitude can help you to feel more positive and hopeful, two essential ingredients for a healthy spiritual life.

3. Forgive yourself and others.

Carrying around resentment and anger is incredibly toxic to your mental and spiritual health. If you want to improve your spiritual well-being, it’s essential that you learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes and also forgive others who have wronged you.

Forgiveness can be difficult, but it’s worth the effort for the peace of mind it can bring.

4. Serve others.

One of the best ways to improve your spiritual health is to focus on helping others. When you give your time, energy, and resources to those in need, you open yourself up to receiving all sorts of blessings in return.

Not only will you feel good about yourself, but you may also find that your problems seem smaller when you’re focused on helping others.

5. Connect with nature.

There is something incredibly calming and grounding about spending time in nature. Make an effort to get outside every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Take a walk in the park, sit by the ocean, or simply admire the beauty of the trees and flowers around you.

6. Improve Physical Health & Fitness

Being physically active is also a great way to improve well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. 

Five ways to improve physical Health

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

One of the best ways to improve your physical beauty is to get plenty of sleep. When you sleep, your body repairs itself and produces new cells. This helps to keep your skin looking young and fresh.

Additionally, getting enough sleep can help to reduce under-eye bags and dark circles.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Another way to improve your physical beauty is to eat a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to give your skin a healthy glow.

Furthermore, eating foods rich in antioxidants can help protect your skin against damage from free radicals.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly is also important for maintaining physical beauty. Exercise helps to increase blood flow, which gives your skin a healthy glow. Exercise also helps reduce stress levels, which can negatively impact your skin.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol can also impact your physical beauty negatively. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and can cause it to appear dull and lifeless.

Additionally, alcohol consumption can cause inflammation, which can lead to the formation of wrinkles.

5. Use Sunscreen

Finally, one of the most important things you can do for your physical beauty is to use sunscreen when you are exposed to the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the skin and cause premature aging.

Therefore, it is important to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when you are outdoors to protect your skin from damage.

Resources For Well-Being & Wellness

There are many different well-being resources available. Some well-being resources include things like:

Books 

Books about well-being can provide us with valuable information about how to improve our well-being.  Here are a few I recommend:

Articles

Articles about well-being can also be a great resource. They can offer us new perspectives on well-being and can provide us with tips and tricks for improving our well-being. 

Websites

Websites about well-being can be a great resource. They can offer us access to well-being information and support groups. 

Support Groups

Support groups can also be a great well-being resource. They can provide us with emotional support and guidance from others who are struggling with similar issues.

Well-Being Quotes

We can use many different well-being quotes to inspire and motivate us. 

Here are some well-being quotes to inspire you:

  • The greatest wealth is health.” -Virgil
  • “Happiness is the greatest medicine.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
  • ”Well-being is not a goal… it’s a way of living.” – Pema Chodron.
  • “well-being isn’t about being happy all the time. It’s about having a balance of positive and negative emotions.” – Barbara Fredrickson
  • “well-being is about living your life with intention.” – Oprah Winfrey 
  • “well-being is a state of mind, not a state of the world.” – Wayne Dyer 
  • well-being is an inside job.” – William James
  • ”well-being comes from within. It’s not what you have, it’s how you feel.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • ”well-being is not a destination. It’s a journey. It’s the sum total of our choices.” – Tony Robbins
  • ”well-being is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.” – Arianna Huffington. 
  • “Well-being is not something you pursue. It’s something you create.” – Deepak Chopra
  • ”well-being is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice.” – Denis Waitley
  • ”well-being is not about getting what you want. It’s about wanting what you’ve got.” – Sheryl Crow
  • “well-being is a journey, not a destination.” – Unknown.
  • “well-being comes from within. It’s not what you have, it’s how you feel.” – Abraham Lincoln

Choose any that resonate with you, then write them down in your journal, stick them on your wall, or have them on your phone or desktop wallpaper to remind you daily to focus on your well-being.

A Final Word For Improving Your Well-Being

When we have a sense of well-being, we are more likely to achieve our goals, experience long term health, and have a fulfilled life.

There are many ways to improve your well-being. The key is finding what works for you and ensuring that you’re taking care of yourself physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, financially, and emotionally.

No matter how dark or difficult your current situation might be, know that you are not alone and help is waiting for you if you need it.

Where To From Here?

This article is part of How to be healthy – a guide for busy women.

I invite you to continue improving your health by learning about developing great habits and a healthy routine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *