Psychological Wellbeing has two important facets.
The first of these refers to the extent to which people experience positive emotions and feelings of happiness. Sometimes this aspect of psychological wellbeing is referred to as subjective wellbeing (Diener, 2000).
Subjective wellbeing is a necessary part of overall PWB but on its own it is not enough.
The two important ingredients in PWB are the subjective happy feelings brought on by something we enjoy AND the feeling that what we are doing with our lives has some meaning and purpose.
Types of psychological wellbeing
- The term “Hedonic” wellbeing is normally used to refer to the subjective feelings of happiness. It comprises of two components, an affective component (high positive affect and low negative affect) and a cognitive component (satisfaction with life). It is proposed that an individual experiences happiness when positive affect and satisfaction with life are both high (Carruthers & Hood, 2004).
- The less well-known term, “Eudaimonic” wellbeing is used to refer to the purposeful aspect of PWB. The psychologist Carol Ryff has developed a very clear model that breaks down Eudaimonic wellbeing into six key types of psychological wellbeing.
Self-Acceptance: One’s positive attitude about his or her self. An example statement for this criterion is “I like most aspects of my personality”
Environmental Mastery: One makes effective use of opportunities and has a sense of mastery in managing environmental factors and activities, including managing everyday affairs and creating situations to benefit personal needs. An example statement for this criterion is “In general, I feel I am in charge of the situation in which I live”.
Positive Relations with Others: High scores reflect the respondent’s engagement in meaningful relationships with others that include reciprocal empathy, intimacy, and affection. An example statement for this criterion is “People would describe me as a giving person, willing to share my time with others”.
Personal Growth: High scores indicate that one continues to develop, is welcoming to new experiences, and recognizes improvements in behavior and self over time. An example statement for this criterion is “I think it is important to have new experiences that challenge how you think about yourself and the world”.
Purpose in Life: High scores reflect the respondent’s strong goal orientation and conviction that life holds meaning. An example statement for this criterion is “Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them”.
Autonomy: one is independent and regulates his or her behavior independent of social pressures. An example statement for this criterion is “I have confidence in my opinions, even if they are contrary to the general consensus”.
Source: Robertson Cooper