What is wellbeing? It’s not what you think!

What is wellbeing? It’s not what you think!

Take a moment… What does wellbeing mean to you?

I love inviting people to this quick reflection during my masterclasses ‘The Key to Wellbeing’. The question itself may be a simple one but the answer can get pretty complicated!

Some people define wellbeing simply as happiness or feeling good. Others argue that wellbeing goes deeper and that it means being content and satisfied with life. Some highlight aspects of physical, emotional or financial health which needs to be fulfilled to experience it. While others insist that wellbeing goes even further, and that it involves using our strengths and talents in order to self-express and make a difference in the world.

It turns out that although it is not easy to agree on one definition of wellbeing, we all intuitively know how it feels. And one thing we know for sure is we all want more of it…

Philosophical roots of wellbeing go back to ancient Greeks. While early studies in psychology reflected hedonic – perusing pleasures and feeling good – approach to wellbeing, the much wider eudaimonic perspective – living well and flourishing – has been considered later and is currently leading the way.

The term eudaimonia was termed by Aristotle. He claimed that wellbeing is not about feeling good or satisfying appetites, but more importantly it is about ‘activities of the soul’ – knowing your true self and becoming the fullest expression of who you really are. This, he believed, leads to the greatest fulfilment and lasting wellbeing in life.

I have been fascinated with this subject from an early age. After years of study, heaps of personal and professional experience working with clients, I now see wellbeing as our innate capacity. We all have it! It is in you and in me. The most important ways to grow this innate capacity is awareness and understanding about the following:

  • understanding that we create our experience of life from the inside 
  • remembering we are always feeling our thinking
  • knowing that it is unwise to believe your thinking when you are in a low state of mind

Funnily enough, wellbeing is not something we need to strive for, but something that is to be discovered within ourselves. Wellbeing is also not at the mercy of external factors and the common notion: ‘I will have more wellbeing when I have this or that’ is simply elusive. Wellbeing is also not about applying strategies to ‘get there’ and not even about positive thinking.

Wellbeing is a seed of potentiality that has already been planted within all of us. It grows and flourishes naturally if we attend to it with awareness and comprehension of how we function psychologically and spiritually as human beings in each and every moment.

So … what do you make of it? Drop me a message. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Enjoy your day!

Dorothy

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