Wellbeing (an introduction)

The concept of well-being comprises two main elements: feeling good and functioning well. Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity and engagement are characteristic of someone who has a positive experience of their life. Equally important for well-being is our functioning in the world. Experiencing positive relationships, having some control over one’s life and having a sense of purpose are all important attributes of wellbeing.

The condition of being contented, healthy, or successful.

Feeling good and functioning well?

There are many more definitions of wellbeing to choose from in addition to the 2 definitions used above,  but 'feeling good and functioning well' seem to fit the bill rather well and can provide us with a starting point to learn more about our own level of wellbeing - and to take some steps to protect it or improve it.

Feeling good and functioning well comes from a government report on wellbeing, which summarises ‘Five-a-Day’ recommendations for wellbeing.

Wellbeing and things you could do now

Challenges to wellbeing include things that are in our control and things that are not. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference, but here are some suggestions about the kinds of things we can all try for ourselves that can improve our wellbeing. 

Having a think about your diet, how much you are drinking, how much you are smoking, the amount of exercise you do and how you deal with stress. This can be the start of changing how well you cope and how you feel about your own wellbeing. 

Some things that can help include: 

  • Making time to relax, whether by listening to music, a Relaxation Podcast or going to a Yoga or Zumba class
  • Dealing with problems promptly - don’t let things build up, and if they have, seek advice or help
  • Make sure you eat properly - you wouldn’t expect a car to run properly without fuel and servicing
  • Do your best to get enough sleep
  • Try talking to someone you can trust and share your concerns or problems with them
  • Setting small achievable goals and meeting them can improve your sense of success 

Have a look at some of the self-help materials and resources on our website and see if there are guides which can help you to improve your own wellbeing, or try our mood matters questionnaires or wellbeing questionnaire to find out more about your own situation.

Prioritising looking after yourself is sometimes difficult, especially if you are looking after others, whether as a parent or carer, however it is important to recognise that if you don’t look after yourself you run the risk of losing your own wellbeing and may become unable to look after others.

If you feel that your current level of mental wellbeing is affecting your quality of life and you think that talking therapies could be the right thing for you, please talk to your GP about a referral to our service.

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