What is Wellbeing?
Good mental health is related to mental and psychological wellbeing. Good mental health does not necessarily evolve from not having a mental illness. People can be free of mental illness and at the same time, feel unhappy, unfulfilled, and exhibit a high level of dysfunction in their daily life.
Wellbeing: Optimal human experience and psychological functioning.
Wellbeing is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon, generally viewed by psychologists and researchers from two perspectives:
Hedonic wellbeing relates to feeling happy in terms of having high levels of positive emotions, low levels of negative emotions, and high satisfaction with life.
Eudaimonic wellbeing relates to positive psychological functioning in terms of living your life fully, in line with your deeply held values and beliefs. From the eudaimonic perspective, wellbeing encompasses feeling a sense of meaning and direction in your life, effectively coping with the challenges of daily life, maintaining quality relationships with others, and ultimately, being able to realise your full potential.
The aim of EBW is to talk about evidence-based strategies that you can use in daily life to enhance both hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing.
Why is Improving Wellbeing Important?
Enhancing wellbeing is important, not only because individuals with higher wellbeing feel happier, but also because research shows that individuals with higher wellbeing experience more:
productive working lives; and
superior physical health,
compared to their less happy counterparts.
Growing research also suggests:
Boosting your wellbeing can protect against the development of mental illness, such as anxiety and depression.
If you have a mental illness, implementing strategies to improve your wellbeing can help you to live a satisfying and meaningful life, even in the presence of ongoing illness symptoms, and can help with your recovery.
If you have experienced an episode of depression, incorporating strategies to improve your wellbeing can reduce your risk of relapse.
What is Evidence-Based Practice?
In psychology, evidence-based practice refers to the use of a psychological strategy, technique, or treatment that is founded in science.
Similar to medicine, evidence-based practice in psychology is based on the idea that psychologists can improve patient outcomes by informing clinical practice through relevant scientific research.
As such, psychologists are trained as both scientists and practitioners. When you see a psychologist, the intervention they suggest to you will be founded in what research suggests will achieve the best outcomes for you.
There is a lot of psychological research, however, that is published in academic journals, but not necessarily practiced.
The aim of EBW is to summarise this scientific research and translate it into evidence-based psychological strategies that you can use to improve your mental health.
About the Author
Adele is a Psychologist and author from Melbourne, Australia, who has published scientific research related to preventing depression and enhancing wellbeing.
“I am passionate about the application of psychological research in the real world, and helping people to use science to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 300 million people in the world affected by depression. Where I can I try to apply research to help those of us experiencing depression.
I have applied EBW articles in my own life and found that they have enhanced my wellbeing in numerous ways. I am better able to experience and enjoy the positive moments in life, forgive, and feel more connected to my community.
I ultimately hope EBW becomes a community in which people can share how they have applied research to improve their own lives - so we can then learn from each other."