what is psychological wellbeing?

Here when we refer to psychological health and wellbeing, we are referring to a person’s mental and emotional health. There are many different definitions of psychological health and wellbeing including:

To have high levels of psychological wellbeing is to be:

  • Feeling positive and able to cope.
  • Functioning well and pursuing potential and fulfillment.
  • Feeling that your life is in balance.

The Oxford Dictionaries definition of wellbeing is: “The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”

The Cambridge English Dictionary definition of wellbeing is: The state of feeling healthy and happy.”

Mind the UK mental health charity definition of mental wellbeing as: “How you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life.”

Aked et al. (2008) define the concept of wellbeing as comprising two main elements which are: “feeling good and functioning well”.

The World Mental Health Organisation defines mental health as: “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence in the UK defines psychological wellbeing as: includes the ability to be autonomous, problem-solve, manage emotions, experience empathy, be resilient and attentive.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America’s Health Related Quality of Life programmes tells us although there is no one universal definition of wellbeing: “there is general agreement that at minimum, well-being includes the presence of positive emotions and moods, the absence of negative emotions, satisfaction with life, fulfilment and positive functioning.”

Dodge et al. (2012) writing in the International Journal of Wellbeing proposed a new definition for wellbeing as: “a state of equilibrium or balance that can be affected by life events or challenges.”

When we examine these numerous definitions several key words and phrases are repeated and seem to stand out, they are:

  • Feeling positive and able to cope.
  • Functioning well and pursuing potential and fulfilment.
  • Feeling that your life is in balance.

We all aspire to and deserve to live a life feeling and being as positive and happy and healthy as we can be, in other words functioning to our full potential.

It is unlikely that any of us will achieve a state of complete perfection in any aspect of our psychological, physical, relational, professional and recreational wellbeing. In fact, trying to pursue and unrealistic and/or unobtainable goal of perfection in any or all these areas can lead to frustration, anger, dejection, unhappiness and psychological unease that can actually be detrimental to our sense of psychological wellbeing. It is not about being perfect, it is about being the best you can be (i.e. unlocking and achieving your own personal potential in each of these areas).

At MANN uP our aim is to help you unlocking and achieving your full potential in terms of your psychological wellbeing (i.e. supporting you to feel more mentally and emotionally positive and able to cope, functional and balanced).