Well-being is a complex ecosystem. By “ecosystem” we mean that there are several factors that work together simultaneously to influence how we are feeling. And each has a different effect and intensity. Well-being is a term that you hear a lot, but we don’t always know exactly what “being well” actually means. So it figures that we don’t know how to get there!
It is normally made up of six different factors. These are: the emotional, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual aspects. Each of these factors can improve or worsen our lives depending on what is happening in each of them, and that’s why they are so important for our well-being.
Even if we don’t realize it, all of these factors, or variables, come into play in our lives. We need to be careful because we may think our well-being depends on just one or two of them. These one or two aspects may be the ones that most worry or please us. We must realize, however, that they all work together. Together, they help make our lives either rich or poor. Let’s analyze each one in more detail.
Well-being and the emotional aspect
This factor has to do with recognizing and accepting your emotions and feelings. It includes the ability to reason coherently about yourself and to be aware of your own strengths and limitations.
Emotional well-being is the ability to express your feelings and understand those of others. It is also the ability to correctly evaluate yourself. In addition to that, it can be expressed as assertiveness and pro-activity.
The intellectual aspect
Intellectual well-being is linked to the ability to perform creative mental actions. It’s how we use what we’ve learned and experienced to solve problems, both everyday problems and more far-reaching ones. It also involves the ability to detect inconsistencies and address them.
We experience well-being intellectually when we have a curiosity and desire to learn. We try out new ways of solving problems. This aspect also encompasses researching and assessing different intellectual viewpoints.
The occupational factor
Occupational well-being is when we get satisfaction through the work we do. It is a good attitude towards work and the ability to find a job in line with our interests. Occupational well-being is there when we develop new skills in our job or whatever we’re occupied doing on a daily basis. We also associate work with personal values and the desire to improve.
Physical well-being has to do with looking after our health and appearance. To get it, we have to meet our nutritional and exercise needs, work on good habits, and drop bad habits. Physical well-being looks like having an interest in your body and caring for it. If you have it, you care about your personal hygiene and how you look. You are physically well when your daily actions all point towards self-preservation.
The social factor
Social well-being is related to the ability to create balanced social environments. This includes the ability to relate constructively with people. It also involves ending relationships of all kinds that cause us harm.
Social well-being comes through solid and stable support networks based on mutual help and understanding. Respect is also a good expression of being “socially well”. In the same way, it includes the ability to set limits with those around us.
Spiritual well-being has to do with the importance and prominence that we give to life. It is closely related to the meaning we give to our own lives. Spirituality is when you can see the facts from a long-term perspective. It’s when you adopt a set of values and are consistent with it.
It implies that the ability to identify with universal values and stick to them. The desire to fight for different causes and actively participate in them is also a part of spiritual well-being. We could say that our spiritual well-being is the sum of the other factors.
Well-being is multi-faceted
As you can see, well-being is a word that encompasses so many different aspects. Like we said, all the factors involved in it are permanently in play. Sometimes we lose sight of one or more because we’re particularly sensitive to only another.
It’s always important to remember that human beings are multifaceted. That’s why well-being is such a complex area. Try to not lose sight of any of the facets that comprise it. They are all interrelated and so when you’re lacking in one, then other aspects that are doing well can kick in and balance it.