Whether it is reading, learning a musical instrument, meditation, or having a coffee with your friend, your way to wellbeing is personal.
“Well-being” or “wellbeing”: two spellings for the same word, and an endless well of definitions and meanings for each and every person.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, well-being is “the state of being happy, healthy, or successful”. The WHO (World Health Organization) defines the term as “a state in which every individual realizes his/her own potential, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his/her community”.
I asked a sample of a few of my Generation X friends about what wellbeing meant to them and I got: “mental peace, being healthy, financial independence, having positive thoughts, gratefulness, physical and mental balance, inner peace, being where you want to be in life”, … and the list goes on.
“Wellbeing” is an expandable concept that should not be resumed and generalized. I have personally debated with the meaning of this word for years. How can I reach the state of wellbeing when I have a child with Special Needs? After my recent divorce, my goal of “being well” got even further and out of reach. I started comparing myself to others, and I found this to be a destructive way of finding answers. Looking for a response to any “existential question” (and yes I can turn any issue into an existential one) outside of yourself and of the experiences that got you where you are, chances are you will be very disappointed with yourself. Then you naturally wonder why you aren’t on the same level of let’s say wellbeing as your friends. As a result, your self worth takes a hit and things start spiraling down.
Every one of us is a complex mix of personality, experiences, emotions, hence we all process issues differently. Wellbeing can be described in one word as well as in endless combinations.
I got to find mine by asking myself this: what would be the one thing I ‘d like to change about myself that would make me reach this state of wellbeing? It would be to become “lighter” … One step at a time.