There is no consensus around a single definition of Well-Being but there is a general agreement, it includes being satisfied with life, fulfillment and positive functioning. Well-Being is a complex concept which has been assimilated to Happiness but in fact, there is much more to it. Well-being can be understood by how people feel, how they function, on a personal and social level, and how they evaluate their lives.
There are various domains of Well-Being:
Some recent research talks about components of Well-Being. Happiness is only one of them.
Here are some concepts:
This might help identify what’s missing in our lives and where we can work on self-improvement.
Good living conditions are fundamental to Well-Being as well as the quality of the relationships, positive emotions, realization of the potential and a general feeling of satisfaction. Environmental and social resources include peace, economic security, a stable ecosystem, and safe housing. Paid employment is critical to the Well-Being of individuals.
It gives access to resources and fosters satisfaction, meaning and purpose. Unemployment affects Well-Being in a negative manner. Good health enables social, economic and personal development, key to well-being.
Experimental studies find that Well-Being is associated with:
– Healthy life styles and behavior
– Social connections
– Supportive relationships (one of the strongest predictors)
People with high levels of Well-Being are more productive at work and are more likely to work better and contribute to their communities. It is also true that a proportion of the variance in Well-Being can be attributed to heritable factors and environmental factors which play important roles as well.
Some personality factors that are strongly associated with Well-Being include optimism, extroversion, and self-esteem. Genetic factors and personality factors can interact in influencing individual Well-Being.
Because Well-Being is subjective, it can only be measured with self-reports, however there are serious predictors around it. It seems that men and women have similar levels of Well-Being but this pattern changes with age.