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Wellbeing is hard core, no fluff.

Why wellbeing is hard core, no fluff involved.

If you believe Wellbeing is just fluffy sh*te, you haven’t been paying attention to decades of hard scientific evidence from psychology, neuroscience, learning processes and medicine.

Time and again research has shown that Wellbeing has a measurable positive impact on achievement and productivity.

Or, you may have developed a carapace of cynicism towards the concept of Wellbeing that no amount of evidence will penetrate. I have a lot of empathy for cynics, because I believe in what a wise person once said, namely that ‘cynics are disappointed idealists ’.

And why wouldn’t you be disappointed? According to myriad resources, you may have once been open to such conventional ‘wisdom’ as Wellbeing is just a matter of, for example;

  • Finding your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life
  • Adopting Mindfulness
  • Seeking happiness
  • Being optimistic
  • Eating heathy, unprocessed food
  • Exercising more or doing the ‘right’ kind of exercise

Only to discover that few, if any, made any discernible positive change to your life.

Now, of course, there are elements of truth in all of these pieces of ‘wisdom’. They add to conventional wisdom because each has worked to some degree.

Insidiously though, there is underlying ‘magic thinking’ that suggests that you just have to find the lucky key and everything will work out.

It’s almost like buying a lottery ticket and dreaming about what you will do when you win. (Transparency – I indulge in that fantasy regularly, its fun!) We forget that buying the ticket only gives you an entry into the game.  No amount of wishing, believing you deserve it or that it must be your turn to win, will have any influence on the result.

Wellbeing, on the other hand is not dependent on a random lucky key but can be achieved by dogged hard work on several fronts.

It also requires an acceptance that it takes daily effort, and repetition – a lifestyle, in other words. Added to that is a much-needed recognition that you may, realistically, achieve only snatches of Wellbeing rather than being in a continuous state.

So, what is Wellbeing?

Martin Seligman has defined it as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of a disease’.

Martin Seligman adds that it is a structure built on five measurable pillars called PERMA© :

P – Positive emotion

E – Engagement

R – Relationships

M – Meaning & Purpose

A – Accomplishment

No one element defines Wellbeing, but each contributes to it and each requires attention and a level of skill built up over time through iteration and repetition.

Why bother though, if it requires so much effort? It appears that those snatches of Wellbeing create multiplier effects and have been shown to vastly improve the following, to mention just a few;

  • Better use of your intellect for decision-making and problem-solving
  • Higher productivity and energy and a resulting sense of achievement
  • Engendering a greater sense of joy in life
  • Better relationships management and enjoyment of them
  • A sense that your life has meaning and purpose

Building Wellbeing into a daily lifestyle habit may not be easy but there is plenty of scientifically- based behavioural change tips and skills available for each of the five pillars.

Wellbetter being a perfect example of where to find such tips. 🙂

In subsequent blogs I will build on the PERMA model and provide further background on why this model is so useful to create Wellbeing for everyone.

Author:  Sandy Wright

Executive Coaching & Leadership development

 

 

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