What is well-being and how to improve it

How to improve our well-being by understanding what well-being really is

The truth is, at least once in the last month, you have been reminded of improving your well-being. 

Whether it’s in the most recent news report on wellness, the unwanted ads about dieting, the workshops at work, or your conversations with friends. You might also (and probably do) read this word every day when navigating the Internet, as it produces nearly 170.000.000 Google results alone. 

So, after the great number of times we hear, read, and discuss what well-being is, we should all know how to achieve it by now, right? 

Well.. not really

If you are still scratching your head trying to figure out an answer to this question, you are definitely not alone. With so much (and often conflicting) information out there, well-being has become an ambiguous term. Not only that but as the meaning of well-being changes through time, its definition becomes open to interpretation and even dispute. This makes understanding and achieving ‘well-being” very difficult, even within public policy.  

So, what is well-being?

Many interchange the term “well-being” with “happiness”, even though they don’t have the same meaning. But are the two words, in fact, connected? 

When first developing the authentic happiness theory, Martin Seligman understood that happiness is made up of three elements:

  • Positive emotions: experiencing emotions such as peace, gratitude, hope, and love as well as enjoying yourself in the here and now.
  • Engagement: experiencing a state of flow, intense concentration, and losing ourselves in the tasks at hand. 
  • Meaning: serving a bigger cause than ourselves. We can experience this from religion, or in any way we contribute to the world and humanity. 

In brief, these are the elements that help us measure life satisfaction and experience happiness. 

However, Seligman did not stop there. He rethought his authentic happiness theory and developed the well-being theory

This later theory sustains that well-being is the key to flourishing in life, and there are five pillars we should incorporate in our lives, depicted by the PERMA model.

As you can see, this model is pretty similar to the authentic happiness theory, with two additions. In a nutshell, these are: 

  • Positive Relationships: creating and maintaining strong and meaningful relationships.  We are “social beings” after all!
  • Accomplishment: striving to challenge and better ourselves, whether we’re mastering a new skill, achieving a personal goal, or winning a competition. 

Each element contributes to well-being, and there isn’t one that strictly defines it on its own. This means that we need all five elements to flourish in life. 

But what about happiness

As you probably picked up, there is an overlap between what makes us happy and what makes us feel well. Indeed, the research suggests that by working on our well-being, we also work on our happiness.

Okay, but how do we improve happiness and well-being?

Whether you’ve heard about the PERMA model before or not, one really important question remains. Where do we go from here? There is still a big (and overwhelming) difference between learning the theory and putting it into practice! 

Finding a solution to this question is exactly why wellyou was founded: to help people learn the science of happiness and well-being while bridging the gap between learning and experiencing. 

And so, to help you already get started with feeling happy and well, we want to share with you our main suggestion and the essence to wellyou

Dedicate time each day to work on your physical, social and mental health, so to achieve a balance between all three areas by the end of each week. This includes getting a good night’s sleep and exercising regularly, but also, practicing meditation and doing brain exercises to keep stimulating the mind! And don’t forget to call your friends and family, if you don’t have the time or opportunity to see them! 

Of course, there is a lot more to learn, which is why we created our free ebook giving you more practical tips and insights into the science of happiness and well-being. 

. . . 

In the end, well-being boils down to the small steps you are willing to take every day to become happier and healthier in many different areas of your life.

We know, however, that getting started is hard, and knowing where to start is harder. We are here to provide you with the knowledge, tools and encouragement needed for every step of your journey. 

Until next time!

  • Ereaut, G. & Whiting, R. (2008). What do we mean by ‘wellbeing’? And why might it matter? DCSF Research Report DCSF-RW073. 
  • Seligman M.E.P. (2018). PERMA and the building blocks of well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(4), 333-335. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2018.1437466 
  • Seligman, M.E.P. (2011). Flourish: a new understanding of happiness and well-being –and how to achieve them. London Free Press
  • Scorsolini-Comin, Fabio, Fontaine, Anne Marie Germaine Victorine, Koller, Silvia Helena, & Santos, Manoel Antônio dos. (2013). From authentic happiness to well-being: The flourishing of Positive Psychology. Psicologia, Reflexão E Crítica: Publication of the Curso De Pós-Graduação Em Psicologia Da Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul., 26(4), 663-670. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722013000400006 

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What is well-being and how to improve it

The truth is, at least once in the last month, you have been reminded of improving your well-being. 

Whether it’s in the most recent news report on wellness, the unwanted ads about dieting, the workshops at work, or your conversations with friends. You might also (and probably do) read this word every day when navigating the Internet, as it produces nearly 170.000.000 Google results alone. 

So, after the great number of times we hear, read, and discuss what well-being is, we should all know how to achieve it by now, right? 

Well.. not really

If you are still scratching your head trying to figure out an answer to this question, you are definitely not alone. With so much (and often conflicting) information out there, well-being has become an ambiguous term. Not only that but as the meaning of well-being changes through time, its definition becomes open to interpretation and even dispute. This makes understanding and achieving ‘well-being” very difficult, even within public policy.  

So, what is well-being?

Many interchange the term “well-being” with “happiness”, even though they don’t have the same meaning. But are the two words, in fact, connected? 

When first developing the authentic happiness theory, Martin Seligman understood that happiness is made up of three elements:

  • Positive emotions: experiencing emotions such as peace, gratitude, hope, and love as well as enjoying yourself in the here and now.
  • Engagement: experiencing a state of flow, intense concentration, and losing ourselves in the tasks at hand. 
  • Meaning: serving a bigger cause than ourselves. We can experience this from religion, or in any way we contribute to the world and humanity. 

In brief, these are the elements that help us measure life satisfaction and experience happiness. 

However, Seligman did not stop there. He rethought his authentic happiness theory and developed the well-being theory

This later theory sustains that well-being is the key to flourishing in life, and there are five pillars we should incorporate in our lives, depicted by the PERMA model.

As you can see, this model is pretty similar to the authentic happiness theory, with two additions. In a nutshell, these are: 

  • Positive Relationships: creating and maintaining strong and meaningful relationships.  We are “social beings” after all!
  • Accomplishment: striving to challenge and better ourselves, whether we’re mastering a new skill, achieving a personal goal, or winning a competition. 

Each element contributes to well-being, and there isn’t one that strictly defines it on its own. This means that we need all five elements to flourish in life. 

But what about happiness

As you probably picked up, there is an overlap between what makes us happy and what makes us feel well. Indeed, the research suggests that by working on our well-being, we also work on our happiness.

Okay, but how do we improve happiness and well-being?

Whether you’ve heard about the PERMA model before or not, one really important question remains. Where do we go from here? There is still a big (and overwhelming) difference between learning the theory and putting it into practice! 

Finding a solution to this question is exactly why wellyou was founded: to help people learn the science of happiness and well-being while bridging the gap between learning and experiencing. 

And so, to help you already get started with feeling happy and well, we want to share with you our main suggestion and the essence to wellyou

Dedicate time each day to work on your physical, social and mental health, so to achieve a balance between all three areas by the end of each week. This includes getting a good night’s sleep and exercising regularly, but also, practicing meditation and doing brain exercises to keep stimulating the mind! And don’t forget to call your friends and family, if you don’t have the time or opportunity to see them! 

Of course, there is a lot more to learn, which is why we created our free ebook giving you more practical tips and insights into the science of happiness and well-being. 

. . . 

In the end, well-being boils down to the small steps you are willing to take every day to become happier and healthier in many different areas of your life.

We know, however, that getting started is hard, and knowing where to start is harder. We are here to provide you with the knowledge, tools and encouragement needed for every step of your journey. 

Until next time!

  • Ereaut, G. & Whiting, R. (2008). What do we mean by ‘wellbeing’? And why might it matter? DCSF Research Report DCSF-RW073. 
  • Seligman M.E.P. (2018). PERMA and the building blocks of well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(4), 333-335. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2018.1437466 
  • Seligman, M.E.P. (2011). Flourish: a new understanding of happiness and well-being –and how to achieve them. London Free Press
  • Scorsolini-Comin, Fabio, Fontaine, Anne Marie Germaine Victorine, Koller, Silvia Helena, & Santos, Manoel Antônio dos. (2013). From authentic happiness to well-being: The flourishing of Positive Psychology. Psicologia, Reflexão E Crítica: Publication of the Curso De Pós-Graduação Em Psicologia Da Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul., 26(4), 663-670. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722013000400006 

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Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com