What is wellbeing?
Wellbeing means to many of us, the feeling of happiness and being content in life- but what else can wellbeing mean, and why is it so important to our health?
Quote sourced from NHS Choices
Why is wellbeing important?
The world health organisation (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
This tells us that wellbeing is so important to our health. it is not only disease or illness that can make us unwell. It is also how we think, feel, and act; how we recognise emotions in ourselves and others, and how much responsibility we take for our own Physical, Social and Emotional health.
Good wellbeing, and fulfillment in all the above categories, has so many benefits. The department of health published many reports in 2014 outlining the importance of wellbeing for good health. You can read the full document here.
Some of the key findings tell us that wellbeing can:
- improve our general mood and happiness
- according to research, actually add years to your life
- improve our ability to recover from illnesses
- positively influence the effect the mental health and wellbeing for those close to us, if we have a good sense of wellbeing ourselves.
Being physically healthy means:
- You may enjoy being physically active
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- You have good co-ordination, balance and agility undertaking everyday tasks, as well as sports
- Having the strength and stamina required for daily life, work and play.
- Having fewer illnesses, diseases or injury
Our emotional – or mental – health is linked to our personal sense of wellbeing, and feeling positive about ourselves.
Being emotionally healthy includes:
- Having good self-esteem and self respect
- Having confidence within yourself
- Being able to express a good range of emotions and recognising and managing the factors which may affect this
- Feeling fully engaged in the world around you
- Coping with the stresses and strains of daily life
- Feeling positive about your life and having optimism for the future
- Being able to adapt and manage situations, even though times of stress or uncertainty
Enjoying a full and varied social life also contributes to our sense of wellbeing; this means feeling positive about interactions with other people and the wider world. Being socially healthy includes:
- Having a sense of belonging, and exercising the ability to interact with a range of different people
- Having tolerance, empathy and respect for those around us
- Managing emotions to suit the situation we are in
- Recognising how our actions may effect others
- Being aware of rights and responsibilities