Well-being cannot exist just in your own head. Well-being is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships, and accomplishment. ~Martin Seligman~
Well-being is a very subjective construct, it is all about how one feels, contended and how they like to perceive themselves across different aspects of their life such as social, work, emotional, financial and many more while receiving the utmost satisfaction. It is indeed a concept that has been widely recognized as a matter of importance wherein measures are being adopted for the development of well-being from the community to the global level.
Each day, each one might encounter different obstacles in life, negatively impacting one’s own emotional or physical well-being. And it is never possible to avoid or ignore such negative feelings as negative emotions just as the positive ones have also the potency to create a crucial impact on one’s life, the only difference lies in consequence of the impact. However, what one is capable of is to adopt ways to overcome such negative experiences in an effective manner rather than to indulge in pessimistic thoughts, aiming for better well-being.
Few techniques one can implement in their day-to-day life that has been statistically proven to be an effective means for a positive development of well-being are:
An appropriate way of managing stress: Stress is an inescapable factor; however one can definitely incorporate effective strategies to cope with stress. It is important to understand the stressing factors, noting them down and carefully evaluating them in order to take appropriate measures such as communicating with people, investing time in some preferred activity; which could be different for everyone. Vitally, avoiding the causes or emotions of stress can negatively impact one’s well-being and can exaggerate the situation as well.
Sufficient amount of Sleep: It can seem to be a worthless measure, but it’s the most crucial part of one’s well-being. Sleep helps in managing mood-regulating hormones; when sleep is disturbed or insufficient it can negatively trigger the secretion of such hormones and hence indirectly inflate the feelings of stress. 7-8 hours of sleep and a fixed routine of sleep is a necessity. A study conducted among adolescents showed that long hours of sleep has significantly improved the subjective well-being of the participants; hence noting the importance of sleep duration for well-being (Brand et al., 2014).
‘Now’ is the focal: Past situations or experiences can never be changed; when the mind haunts around past events or actions, indirectly it triggers negative emotions such as guilt, anxiety, sadness, etc. creating an imbalance in the overall well-being. Training the mind to focus on the present is the key, which isn’t an easy process and takes days of practice as well. Constant meditation, breathing techniques, journaling practices or any sorts of mindfulness exercises can help one achieve the notion of experiencing the present. A study conducted among the Swedish population noted that mindfulness has the potency to moderate stress and thereby improve psychological well-being (Bränström, Duncan and Moskowitz, 2011). Interestingly, companies who incorporated mindfulness for the employees noted a reduction of non-attendance by 85% (Relaxing the Rules: More Companies Embrace, 2021).
Understanding Body and Diet: Timely and proper food can have a strong positive influence on one’s physical health and thereby emotional well-being too. Diet and exercise are crucial components of well-being; a study revealed that people who adopted a healthy lifestyle which included only fruits and vegetables reported to show high well-being (Stranges et al., 2014).
Quit Unhealthy Addictions: Research suggests that nicotine dependency is significantly correlated to low-wellbeing and shows minimal mindfulness abilities thereby increased perceived stress (Barros et al., 2015). Smoking and alcohol dependency seems to have an impact on one’s well-being even when carefully following other healthy practices or measures, hence without refraining such addictions all other efforts for positive well-being can go in vain.
In a nutshell, all the measures indicate the notion that well-being is highly dependent on what one intake into their body, which can be food, environmental factors, or any social influences. It is one’s own responsibility to nurture their well-being and to be considered as the utmost priority.
Barros, V., Kozasa, E., Formagini, T., Pereira, L., & Ronzani, T. (2015). Smokers Show Lower Levels of Psychological Well-Being and Mindfulness than Non-Smokers. PLOS ONE, 10(8), e0135377. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0135377
Brand, S., Lemola, S., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Grob, A. and Kalak, N., 2014. Sleep duration and subjective psychological well-being in adolescence: a longitudinal study in Switzerland and Norway. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, p.1199 https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S62533
Bränström, R., Duncan, L. and Moskowitz, J., 2011. The association between dispositional mindfulness, psychological well-being, and perceived health in a Swedish population-based sample. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16(2), pp.300-316 https://doi.org/10.1348/135910710X501683
Los Angeles Times. 2021. Relaxing the Rules: More Companies Embrace Meditation: Businesses say the at-work sessions make for happier employees, increased productivity-- even higher profits.. [online] Available at https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1995-06-05-ss-9814-story.html
Stranges, S., Samaraweera, P., Taggart, F., Kandala, N. and Stewart-Brown, S., 2014. Major health-related behaviours and mental well-being in the general population: the Health Survey for England. BMJ Open, 4(9), pp.e005878-e005878 https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005878