Since the beginning of this century, there has been conducted a series of researches on the field of positive psychology about the concept of well-being. Their outcome resulted in a paradigm shift in contemporary psychology, where the emphasis is placed not only on people’s traumas and mental disorders, but also on personal qualities that enhance the feeling of well-being.
But what does well-being mean?
Definitions of Well-Being
According to the Thesaurus dictionary, well-being is:
MacMillan Dictionary details the state of well-being:
the satisfactory state that someone or something should be in, that involves such things as being happy, healthy, and safe, and having enough money”
And Wikipedia says:
Well-being, wellbeing, welfare or wellness is a general term for the condition of an individual or group, for example their social, economic, psychological, spiritual or medical state.”
The concept of well-being
Psychologist Martin Seligman described in his book Authentic Happiness the concept of well-being in three ways:
- the pleasures of life, which corresponds to Aristotle’s hedonic concept of well-being
- involvement in action that brings satisfaction the work accomplished
- the meaning of life, which corresponds to Aristotle’s eudaimonia well-being
Not necessary in that order. I consider that someone should find first the meaning of his life before starting his/her career or pursue the pleasures of life.
On the other hand, another psychologist, Carol Ryff, introduce the psychological concept of “well-being” and splits it into 6 categories:
- Positive relationships with others
- Life purpose
- Mastering the environment
- Personal Development
His perspective on the concept of well-being defines human existence in all its social, relational, spiritual and even physical complexity. But although all men are viewed through the lens of these influences, not all will focus equally on each of the life’s issues listed above.
All these aspects contribute to the well-being and sense of accomplishment of a person, but not equally. Some will appreciate more personal and social relationships, some the health of their body, others may seek love and satisfaction that comes from accepting yourself, others will give more importance to having a purpose in life and being autonomous etc.
People have different expectations from life, therefore they will always be searching for different accomplishments in their life.