PSYCHOLOGY PHD STUDENT MARIOS Explores 5 types of Wellbeing
Wellbeing is, first and foremost, a question of balance. From our interactions with friends and loved ones to how well we get along with colleagues at work, our sense of wellbeing comes from many sources. Yet it’s having a sense of purpose and meaning to our daily lives, however trivial, and how we balance each of its pillars, which uncovers wellbeing in its purest aspect.
In this blog I will explore types of wellbeing and provide some tips that have helped improve my wellbeing. Wellbeing comes from our thoughts, actions and experiences; things which we have an ability to control. As wellbeing is constituted by so many ‘pillars’ in our lives, we can deconstruct it into five different types.
5 types of wellbeing
The capacity to practice stress-management, be resilient, and generate emotions that lead to positive feelings.
When we have a toolkit filled with skills such as emotion regulation, positive thinking, and mindfulness, we can cope with stress, handle our emotions when facing challenging situations, and achieve a quick recovery for unwanted and disappointing situations.
Extra Tip: If you want to commence your mindfulness journey and embark on an Eight-Week mindfulness program, you can start by reading the Mindfulness: A practical guide to Finding Peace In A Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman.
«Νοῦς ὑγιὴς ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ – Mens sana in corpore sano = A sound/healthy mind in a healthy body.»Satire X, Juvenal (10.356)
The capacity to improve the functioning of your body through healthy eating and exercise.
Physical wellbeing is equally important and can boost our emotional and mental wellbeing. Create a healthy diet programme, detox your body, and exercise regularly.
The capacity to communicate well with others, develop, meaningful relationships, and maintain a support network to counteract loneliness.
This category is important because when we are socially connected, we tend to have also more positive emotions that build and contribute to our emotional wellbeing.
The capacity to pursue your interests, values, and purpose in order to gain meaning, happiness and enrichment professionally.
We need to build skills that align with what we want, what matters to us and gives us purpose. These skills will help us enjoy life, stay motivated, be more successful at work, and maintain an overall work-life balance.
Studies have also found that workplace wellbeing is also determined by physical or psychological demands to which an individual responds (i.e. stressors). Physical demands can include excessive heat, noise, and light, while examples of psychological demands can include role ambiguity, interpersonal conflict and lack of control. Regular work patterns can have an important influence on worker satisfaction and performance.
Finally, individual differences characteristics (e.g. self-esteem) have also been found to play a role between the stressor- strain (i.e. reaction to stressors) relationship.
The capacity to actively participate in a thriving community, culture and environment.
While we are only a fraction of the society, it is important to contribute to living in a healthy society by doing small deeds, such as being kind to someone in our community and making a positive impact in other people’s lives.
Wellbeing is not one-dimensional, and it requires effort in all five types. Each person has their own journey through life, and wellbeing is a major part of it. It’s never too late to embark on improving your wellbeing, and always remember that in this journey you are not alone.
Davis, T. S., et al. (2013). Look on the bright side: Effects of positive reappraisal training on psychological health. Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Emotion Pre-Conference. New Orleans, LA.
Landy, F., & Conte, J. (2016). Work in the 21st century (5th ed.). Wiley
Layous, K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). The how, who, what, when, and why of happiness: Mechanisms underlying the success of positive interventions. Light and dark side of positive emotion J. Gruber and J. Moskowitz. Oxford, Oxford University Press
Mintz, S. (2019). Beyond Happiness and Meaning: Transforming Your Life Through Ethical Behavior. Ethics Sage LLC
Tamir, M., et al. (2007). “Implicit theories of emotion: Affective and social outcomes across a major life transition.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92(4): 731-744
Williams, M., & Penman, D. (2011). Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. Piatkus Books
Psychology PhD student Marios is the Psychology Social Media Ambassador (Research Focus) at the University of Edinburgh. Keep an eye on the Psychology at Edinburgh Twitter account for updates from Marios.