Defining Well-being

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We’ve been asked, “If I become a ‘Wellcoach’, how do I define ‘well-being?’
Interesting question indeed!

In fact, there is an entire journal dedicated to this topic – The International Journal of Well-being. Among its many perspectives on the topic, one article defined wellbeing as “the balance point between an individual’s resource pool and the challenges faced.”  Of course, coaches also understand this to be similar to the definition of “flow”.

A recent article in WebMD  explored a similar question, asking, “Has wellness become just a buzzword with no real substance behind it?”  The article traces the evolution of the wellness revolution from the 70’s (the hurry to get fit) to today (the journey to be well).

We see a continued, and necessary, expansion of the understanding of well-being to include what makes one thrive and flourish. Following Martin Seligman’s PERMA model, this includes:

Positive emotions – feeling good
Engagement – being completely absorbed in activities
Relationships – being authentically connected to others
Meaning – a purposeful existence
Achievement – a sense of accomplishment and success

This, of course, requires a reach beyond inquires around what a client is eating and how much they are exercising. Behavior change is a holistic proposition, best done when deeply rooted in meaning and purpose, including conversations about one’s whole life.

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