The Concept of Wellbeing in Relation to Health and Quality of Life


The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that “wellbeing exists in two dimensions, subjective and objective. It comprises an individual’s experience of their life as well as a comparison of life circumstances with social norms and values”.

            In recent years, there is an increasing  interest on the qualitative aspects of health. Thus, the role of somatic and physiological integrity of an organism is not diminished, but it is emphasized that health is even more complex than we thought, it was. In this context, two concepts become more important and relevant, for us to understand: well-being and quality of life.

The state of well-being implies:

  • Self-acceptance
  • Positive relationships with others
  • Autonomy
  • Control of personal “destiny”
  • Meaning and purpose in life
  • Personal Development

The concept of quality of life

The notion of quality of life is complex and multidimensional. Quality of life is defined as: subjective perception of one’s position in the world in relation to personal standards and expectations (WHO, 1993).

The quality of life can be evaluated in various areas, namely:

  • Ecological
  • Economic
  • Cultural
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Psychic

The qualitative psychological dimensions of life relevant to health or disease are:

  • Physical (mobilization, personal care, reflex control, absence of pain, vitality, energy)
  • Psychic (emotional reactions, cognitive functions)
  • Social (interpersonal relations, communication, roles)
  • Behavioral (sleep, eating, recreation, hobbies)
  • Economic (financial)
  • Independent (sexuality).

         Keep in mind, it takes time and effort to build any new skill set — that includes well-being skills. It’s important to be realistic with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish in a given amount of time.

        Having unrealistic expectations can lead you to give up before you’ve reached your well-being goals. So it’s key to create a realistic plan for your well-being, stick to it, and take small actions every day that add up to big improvements up over time.

         If you’ve read my earlier posts, you might know that I too have struggled with aspects of my well-being, particularly with maintaining work-life balance. The truth is, we all struggle, and new struggles can and will pop up, even if you’re doing well. But the longer we’ve worked on strengthening our well-being skills, the easier it is to be resilient, take the actions needed to bounce back, and continue moving forward.

          Growing your well-being is a lifelong pursuit, but it is totally worth it.

Reference :
Layous, K. and S. Lyubomirsky (2012). The how, who, what, when, and why of happiness: Mechanisms underlying the success of positive interventions. Light and dark side of positive emotion J. Gruber and J. Moskowitz. Oxford, Oxford University Press.



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