Psychology: Happiness and Well-Being: Factors Influencing Well-Being

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Concept of Happiness and Well-Being

Happiness and well-being are important and necessary for every individual. The term ‘well-being’ includes many aspects such as, happiness, energy, leisure, peace with oneself, contentment and sensitivity to environment. Well-being involves not only happiness and pleasure but also experiencing/feeling satisfaction in life, presence of positive feeling or affect (e g. interest, love, surprise, pleasure) and the absence of negative feelings (e.g. anxiety, depression, stress).

Factors Influencing Well-Being

Following are the factors that influence well-being-

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Sleep

  • Recreation

  • Yoga and meditation

  • Having friends and maintaining relationship

  • Optimism, resilience and hope

  • Routine

Happiness, Well-Being and Need Satisfaction

Happiness and well-being can be attained through many ways:

  • Material resources

  • Cognitive competence

  • Subjective competence

Characteristics of Happy People

Happiness depends upon situational and personal characteristics. The key personal characteristics are

Characteristics of Happy people

Characteristics of Happy People

  • Mental and physical health

  • Psychological characteristics

  • Good personal relations

Self-Actualization and Mature Personality

Self-actualization refers to the development of the individual up to his or her full potential. We must understand that self actualization does not mean the end of growth; it is not the path to maturity rather it is the path of maturity.

Recognizing the Strength of Self-Actualized Individuals

Self actualized people monitor their behavior, accept self, others and nature, have effective communication skills, a positive attitude, purpose in life, set realistic goals, and believe setbacks are temporary in nature.

Developing Positive Emotions

Negative emotions are important for survival yet often they create disturbance and interrupt the natural flow of life. Positive emotions are desirable to sustain life activities. Positive emotions make us feel good, soothe us and provide a sense of comfort.

  • Positive emotions : It affect us in two important ways- they ‘broaden’ our thinking, physical and social resources, and help ‘building’ reserves to draw upon at times of stress and strain.

  • Ways to promote positive emotions: The way by which we can promote positive emotions are by doing relaxation exercises, finding positive meaning in life, finding happiness and satisfaction in daily life and undertaking activities which you love.

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