What is “Well-being”?

The definition of wellbeing is a little amorphous depending on what study or book you are reading and the perspective of each particular author: At Ascent Coaching and Training we take the following approach to defining wellbeing:

Wellbeing is more than the absence of ill-health
Wellbeing is multi-dimensional
Wellbeing is dynamic rather than stable – it fluctuates, but within a ‘set-range’
Wellbeing is subjective – it is an individual perception and perspective and therefore will vary from individual to individual

Well being

As the above image from Dodge (2012) illustrates, wellbeing is “transactional”: It involves a negotiation between an individual’s perceived social, emotional, psychological and physical resources and their perception of the particular challenges they face – be they emotional, psychological or physical. These challenges can occur in all areas of their life, including both their personal and work life. When an individual perceives that they have more challenges than resources in induces a stress response which alters their brain chemistry, with implications for the way they think and act. If not effectively managed it can impact both their work performance, ability to engage effectively with life and have detrimental effects on both their mental and physical health.