These are some terms related to well being:
- Health-Related quality of life
- Positive mental health
- Optimal health
- Subjective well-being
- Psychological well-being
- Life Satisfaction
- Hedonic well-being
Some researchers suggest that many of the terms are synonymous, whereas others note that there are major differences based on which dimensions are independent and contribute most to well-being. This is an evolving science, with contributions from multiple disciplines. Traditionally, health-related quality of life has been linked to patient outcomes and has generally focused on deficits in functioning (e.g., pain, negative affect). In contrast, well-being focuses on assets in functioning, including positive emotions and psychological resources (e.g., positive affect, autonomy, mastery) as key components. Some researchers have drawn from both perspectives to measure physical and mental well-being for clinical and economic studies. Subjective well-being typically refers to self-reports contrasted with objective indicators of well-being. The term, “positive mental health” calls attention to the psychological components that comprise well-being from the perspective of individuals interested primarily in the mental health domain. From this perspective, positive mental health is a resource, broadly inclusive of psychological assets and skills essential for well-being.But, the latter generally excludes the physical component of well-being. “Hedonic” well-being focuses on the “feeling” component of well-being (e.g., happiness) in contrast to “eudaimonic” well-being which focuses on the “thinking” component of well-being (e.g., fulfillment). People with high levels of positive emotions and those who are functioning well psychologically and socially are described by some as having complete mental health, or as “flourishing.”
In summary, positive mental health, well-being and flourishing refer to the presence of high levels of positive functioning—primarily in the mental health domain (inclusive of social health). However, in its broadest sense, well-being encompasses physical, mental, and social domains.
The reasons why well-being and related constructs should be measured and evaluating how these domains can be changed should help inform which domains (e.g., life satisfaction, positive affect, autonomy, meaning, vitality, pain) should be measured, and which instruments and methods to use.