Scientific & social research development has led to an introduction of a more preventive rather than treatment measures. One of these preventive measures is the promotion of holistic wellbeing. Interestingly, the measurement of individual wellbeing is a good measure of the enjoyment citizens have in their life.
Well-being is a positive outcome that is meaningful for people and for many sectors of society because it tells us that people perceive that their lives are going well. Good living conditions (e.g., housing, employment) are fundamental to well-being. Tracking these conditions is important for public policy. However, many indicators that measure living conditions fail to measure what people think and feel about their lives, such as the quality of their relationships, their positive emotions and resilience, the realization of their potential, or their overall satisfaction with life—i.e., their “well-being.”Well-being generally includes global judgments of life satisfaction and feelings ranging from depression to joy.
Sourced from: http://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/wellbeing.htm/
Wellbeing is a positive outcome meaningful to people within various sectors of the society as it tells the perception people have about their lives. In order, to promote wellbeing or the good feelings, most individuals will need the following;
The science of ‘subjective well-being’ suggests that as well as experiencing good feelings, people need:
- a sense of personal vitality
- to undertake activities that are meaningful, engaging, and which make them feel competent and autonomous
- A stock of inner resources to help them cope when things go wrong and be resilient to changes beyond their immediate control.
It is also crucial that people feel a sense of relatedness to other people, so that in addition to the personal, internally focused elements, people’s social experiences – the degree to which they have supportive relationships and a sense of connection with others – form a vital aspect of well-being.
Human beings need constant involvements of their wits, muscles, and emotions; it no wonder that undertaking activities that are meaningful and engaging is one of the ways to promote wellbeing. Fortunately, even better news is that wellbeing can be cultivated and increased by some factors.
Every aspect of your life influences your state of wellbeing. Researchers investigating happiness have found the following factors enhance a person’s wellbeing:
- Happy intimate relationship with a partner
- Network of close friends
- Enjoyable and fulfilling career
- Enough money
- Regular exercise
- Nutritional diet
- Sufficient sleep
- Spiritual or religious beliefs
- Fun hobbies and leisure pursuits
- Healthy self-esteem
- Optimistic outlook
- Realistic and achievable goals
- A sense of purpose and meaning
- A sense of belonging
- The ability to adapt to change
- Living in a fair and democratic society.
Studies have shown that factors such as; happy intimate relationship with a partner, regular exercise, satisfying career, and even enough money can promote wellbeing. It is important to note that the same studies have shown that in most cases wealth does not always mean better wellbeing. Importantly, measures of well-being can be used in public health as follows:
- Well-being integrates mental health (mind) and physical health (body) resulting in more holistic approaches to disease prevention and health promotion.6
- Well-being is a valid population outcome measure beyond morbidity, mortality, and economic status that tells us how people perceive their life is going from their own perspective.
- Well-being is an outcome that is meaningful to the public.
- Advances in psychology, neuroscience, and measurement theory suggest that well-being can be measured with some degree of accuracy.2, 7
- Results from cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental studies find that well-being is associated with:
- Self-perceived health.
- Healthy behaviors.
- Mental and physical illness.
- Social connectedness.
- Well-being can provide a common metric that can help policy makers shape and compare the effects of different policies (e.g., loss of greenspace might impact well-being more so than commercial development of an area).4, 5
- Measuring, tracking and promoting well-being can be useful for multiple stakeholders involved in disease prevention and health promotion.
While wellbeing is a good measure of public health authorities o determine longevity, productivity, and social connectedness of its citizens; it is also elusive to many. However, nothing good comes easy; keep trying until you get it right. Here are some tips;
- Develop and maintain healthy relationships with family and friends.
- Make regular time available for social contact.
- Try to find work that 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