Understanding Well-being

Well-being, or wellness, is a complex, transactional process and is generally thought to include:

  • Enough positive emotional experiences to counterbalance negative emotional experiences
  • Positive emotional, social and physical functioning
  • Feelings of fulfillment
  • Life satisfaction

We can think of ourselves as a complex system involving input from the environment that feeds and shapes the functioning of our brain and body as well as the output of our own behavior and sense of self.

Our mind is inextricably linked to the functioning of our brain and body and is significantly impacted by the context of our educational, social and emotional learning history. It is guided by basic drives, motivational systems and emotions which emanate from the evolved workings of a tricky brain and complex physiological systems.

We can enhance well-being by actively cultivating compassionate qualities of courage, curiosity, nurturance and presence. Through this process, we build our capacity to accept how our experiences have created our current circumstance, while actively working to build new skills and habits of mind and health related behaviors for wellness and change.