The Definition of Wellbeing: What It Is and Why It’s Important
The word wellbeing seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue recently, but what’s it really all about? Different dictionaries show different answers, but at its core, the definition of wellbeing deals with how you feel inside. Now more than ever, the wellness industry is booming, and that means there are ever-more ways to work on the way you feel.
From meditation apps to anti-aging serums, there are many products on the market that tout their supposed cures, but what works for some people may not work for others. You can achieve feelings of wellbeing through a wide range of means. It varies from person to person, but the feeling is something that we all strive for.
For us at 8fit, health and fitness are some of the most important contributors to our definition of wellbeing. Let’s examine what wellbeing is really all about, plus the different ways we can improve our own.
The definition of wellbeing
Philosophies abound about what wellbeing is and isn’t. Social scientists, psychologists and other researchers around the globe have developed their own defining characteristics, but simply put, it’s the feeling of being comfortable, healthy and happy in your own skin. A high level of wellbeing would be when you feel satisfied or feel a sense of excitement for life. On the other hand, if you were to have a low level of wellbeing, you would likely feel a sense of dissatisfaction overall.
Your sense of wellbeing isn’t necessarily tied to the amount of money you earn, the type of car you drive or where you went to university. Each person attaches importance to different aspects of life, complete with their own value system that they judge themselves and others by. While one person may place their career above all, another might care most about being adored by everyone around them.
Wellbeing is partially determined by how your life stacks up against the different value systems you’ve set in place for yourself. So, if socializing is very important to you, but you’re having a difficult time making friends, your sense of wellbeing may be affected. At the same time, if you’ve always dreamt about the job you have now, your wellbeing will be positively affected.
Although your values can play a role in your wellbeing, so can your health. In fact, health may be the most important indicator. Even if you fulfill the goals you’ve set for yourself, a health issue could still throw you off track and negatively affect your sense of wellness.
In other words, your health can play a significant role in your feelings of wellbeing. And although we can’t always control what hand we’ve been dealt concerning health, we can at least do the best with what we’ve got. Changing your mindset can make a significant difference in your sense of wellbeing, as can our favorite subject: fitness.
Exercise and wellbeing
It may seem obvious coming from us at 8fit, but we consider exercise to be integral to our definition of wellbeing. Working out makes us happy, and the list of benefits is seemingly never-ending. It can give you energy, relieve stress, and help regulate your sleep – all factors that can make a significant difference in your mental and physical wellbeing. And, best of all, research supports it!
Other ways to improve your sense of wellbeing
Earlier we touched on the ways your values can affect your wellbeing, and this ties into how your own mindset affects your feelings of wellness. The old phrase goes: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. It’s a fitting way to describe how a change of perspective can help improve your feelings of wellness and determine whether or not you have a high or low sense of wellbeing.
Sadly, your mindset isn’t a light switch – you can’t just flip it on and off whenever you need a change. It’s something you have to work on. Thankfully, there are many different ways to work on your perspective and in turn, improve your wellbeing. Let’s dig into how.
Even if you feel like you’re the type of person who can’t sit still for a moment, meditation may still offer benefits for you. Recent findings suggest that meditation may increase practitioners’ sense of wellbeing, although the extent to which it makes a difference is still being studied. Luckily, with the technique being more popular than ever before, you’ll find plenty of books and websites on the subject.
Spending time reflecting on the positives in your life can help you to see the bright side of things, even when things feel dark. Try keeping a gratitude journal and write down one to three things a day you’re grateful for. During some periods of your life, finding one thing to be thankful for can be difficult, but the point is that you try. Keep up with this daily practice, and over time, you may just start looking at the glass as half full, rather than half empty.
Sometimes, life can feel stressful, and you may feel overwhelmed by the amount you need to get done. If you’re always telling yourself that you have to do something, then you may look at tasks at hand as if they’re chores, and that creates a negative connotation in the mind. For things that you do voluntarily, there’s no use in pretending you’re being forced.
An example: You have a gym membership, and you feel like you have to go. Each time that thought appears, try to remember that nobody’s forcing you to go. That gym membership is yours because you wanted it, so keep in mind that you are doing it for yourself and choosing to go rather than having to go. Think of what a privilege it is that you get to go to a place where your sole purpose is to better yourself.
One thing that can work wonders for our feeling of wellbeing is learning something that you can continuously improve on, such as a new hobby that allows you to hone your skills. Ideally, try doing something that will have noticeable milestones. An example could be learning to knit. At first, it feels difficult even to knit a small square, but as you keep improving, you’ll be able to continually upgrade, going from knowing nothing to making a scarf, a hat, then one day a sweater.
Seeing noticeable improvements can improve your self-esteem and a sense of purpose, both of which can help improve your feeling of wellbeing.
Wellbeing is important
The way you feel, both physically and mentally, is the essence of living. Our perception and our ability to observe our thoughts and feelings is what makes us human and separates us from other creatures. We owe it to ourselves to live our lives to the fullest while we have the chance. Whatever your definition of wellbeing, we encourage you to do whatever it takes to improve it. If you want help along the way, take 8fit along on your journey.