Well-being is considered the sensation of pleasant emotions such as peace and satisfaction in response to implementing one’s capabilities, having some authority over one’s existence, having a sense of meaning, and having healthy connections. It is a stable state that permits people or a community to grow and flourish. Subjective well-being is associated with mental health that is in a state of good functioning (Ruggeri et al., 2020). According to the World Health Organization, psychological wellness is a condition of well-being in which people recognize their abilities, capable of coping with ordinary life tension, working effectively, and contributing to their community (Ruggeri et al., 2020). Well-being has been associated with occupational, psychological, and social accomplishment. Those well-adjusted demonstrate improved work efficiency, more knowledge acquisition, cognitive flexibility, more prosocial actions, and positive interactions (Ruggeri et al., 2020). This paper aims to discuss the history, measurement, and perception of well-being in other cultures. Additionally, the report addresses the impact of wellness on individuals and society and the implications for Christians instead of the world.
History of Well-being
The examination of well-being encompasses a large body of experimental work conducted by researchers from various fields, ranging from scientific disciplines to the arts, literature, and theatrical performances. The subject of research encompasses significant societal advancements made for all people and for marginalized groups that have faced discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, faith, sexual preference, and social status, among other factors. However, the beginnings of well-being are much older – perhaps ancient. Components of the wellness notion have their origins in many nineteenth-century philosophical, theological, and medical groups in America and Europe. The principles of well-being also date back to early cultures such as Greece, Rome, and Asia, whose ancient legacies have had an indelible impact on the present wellness revolution.
Measurement of Well-being
Various approaches have been formulated by different schools of thought about how wellness can be measured. Methodologies stressing life quality have also influenced personality, albeit not as much as in healthcare and psychotherapy. Alternative theoretical approaches have been presented to elucidate the links between well-being elements and their development and maintenance processes. First, hedonic strategies for well-being conceptualization place a premium on contentment (Cooke et al., 2016). Subjective well-being is the most prevalent hedonic paradigm; it is a threefold framework comprised of life satisfaction, exclusion of detrimental effects, and the availability of positive influence.
While adherents of this viewpoint understand well-being in light of all three of these dimensions, many studies examine well-being from this standpoint only based on life satisfaction. Second, according to eudaimonic perspectives on measuring well-being, cognitive functioning is obtained through reaching one’s capabilities, working optimally, or achieving one’s exact essence (Cooke et al., 2016). Compared to hedonic approaches, which place a premium on affect and life satisfaction, eudaimonic concepts on a broader range of life dimensions (Cooke et al., 2016). However, they differ significantly regarding the underlying ingredients that contribute to well-being (Cooke et al., 2016). For instance, one of the most popular eudaimonic conceptions in measuring cognitive well-being proposes that wellness comprises six components: identity, positive interpersonal relationships, independence, environmental mastery, sense of meaning, and self-development (Cooke et al., 2016). However, the eudaimonic theory maintains that happiness is derived from satisfying three fundamental emotional desires: freedom, intellectual ability, and connectedness.
Lastly, the measurement of well-being concentrates on life quality (QoL). In their research, Cooke et al. (2016) enumerated that the word QoL is frequently confused with well-being. For instance, the Quality of Life assessment developers routinely uses the phrases quality of life, psychological well-being, and overall happiness (Cooke et al., 2016). However, those who study the QoL frame of well-being more extensively incorporate biological, cognitive, and interpersonal components of performance in their measurement (Cooke et al., 2016). This strategy is frequently used in medical settings and has been affected by various specialties, including biology, sociology, and psychology (Cooke et al., 2016). For instance, using the QoL in oncology, measuring of quality of life for cancer patients has been shown to advance significantly (Cooke et al., 2016). According to the WHO, QoL is a comprehensive notion complexly influenced by an individual’s physical well-being, psychological functioning, amount of freedom, social interactions, and connection to salient characteristics of their surroundings (Cooke et al., 2016).
How well-being is perceived in other cultures
Due to the complexity and multidimensionality of civilizations, it is challenging to provide an accurate meaning of the concept of culture. Conversely, tradition relates to the social roles, rules, attitudes, and customs of a specific community passed down through generations. Individualistic societies, such as the United States of America, place a premium on personal freedoms, responsibility, and liberty. Individualistic cultures place a premium on self-sufficiency, autonomy, self-direction, autonomy, and aggressiveness (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2014). For example, being cheerful, maintaining a positive attitude, and feeling good about oneself are vital virtues in American society. The Declaration of Independence declares that the desire for happiness is an inalienable right (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2014). Individuals are motivated to pursue life decisions depending on what keeps them cheerful in a society that provides plentiful options and great individual freedom.
Collective societies place a premium on a dependent perspective of self. Individual behavior refers to others (e.g., relatives, nation, colleagues, employment, and faith) and the local social circumstances. Collectivism places emphasis on social duty, role satisfaction, collaboration, and societal cohesion (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2014). For example, in Asian cultures, happiness is viewed as a lesser cultural ideal. Children are urged to control their emotions, blend in with their peers, take pleasure in their group’s accomplishments, and develop an identity and self-effacing approach toward themselves (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2014). Additionally, in Asian cultures, emotional experiences and well-being measurements are inextricably linked to connections. How others perceive an individual is essential to how they perceive themselves (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2014). Although North Americans are concerned with how others perceive them, they are also urged to stand on their two feet and adhere to their principles.
Impact of well-being on individuals and society
The existence of wellness among individuals and society is crucial for the overall happiness and interactions between them. Wellness attributes to positive relationships that are both the source of their happiest moments and their most agonizing misfortunes. Through welfare protection, connections meet demands for companionship and sharing life’s difficulties through identity and give a continual source of pleasure and positive feelings through encounters with others. Numerous psychologists feel that these beneficial effects have a biological basis that reflects an individual’s evolutionary background. People’s physical and psychological well-being is boosted as much as they are harmed by social exclusion and toxic relationships. In terms of physical health and lifespan, these consequences are comparable to well-established health concerns such as smoking, obesity, poor food, and inactivity. Individuals’ connections’ performance has an equal impact on their cognitive health and satisfaction. Healthy individuals have strong, supportive relationships, whereas happy individuals enjoy a vibrant social life, fulfilling friendships, and joyful marriages. Therefore, positive interactions are widely identified as essential by psychologists and non-psychologists together. Close relationships are frequently cited as one of the most significant life objectives and a primary source of meaning in individuals’ lives.
Various scholars have identified the linkage between wellness and work performance, and productivity. Maccagnan et al. (2019) insinuated that happiness determines the laborer’s productivity in income and manager evaluation. Two distinct model parameters suggested that higher lifetime levels of contentment are connected with higher potential income (Maccagnan et al., 2019). Additionally, Maccagnan et al. (2019) discovered that the influence of happiness on income is attenuated mainly by the notion that cheerful individuals are more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, this leads them to seek employment and have a stronger sense of self-esteem.
Additionally, wellness has been attributed to preventing criminal and antisocial behaviors among individuals. Maccagnan et al. (2019) deduced that a decrease in violent offenses in an area substantially increases community well-being. However, aspects of the predictors of life pleasure also appear in research on the drivers of crime. For instance, unemployment, divorce rates, poverty, and disparities are all demonstrated to play a role in influencing the crime rate, hence diminishing a society’s well-being.
An Interview on Well-being
I conducted the following interview on wellness to gather more individual perspectives on what well-being meant to people and society.
Interviewer: What is your understanding of the term well-being?
Interviewee 1: Well-being, from my perspective, is the development of solid feelings and mindsets, such as pleasure and enthusiasm, the reduction of negative emotions such as sadness and nervousness, enjoyment of life, completeness, and optimism.
Interviewee 2: Wellness is the sensation of healthiness, enjoyment, and affluence among individuals. It entails maintaining positive cognitive health, experiencing a high level of life pleasure, having a feeling of purpose or meaning, and handling stress. More broadly, well-being is simply feeling good and being optimistic about life issues.
Interviewer: As of your current condition, do you consider yourself in a state of wellness?
Interviewer 1: It is quite a difficult question to answer but generally, considering my current unemployment status, it has been difficult providing for my family’s needs. Therefore, I am not in a state of well-being.
Interviewee 2: Despite not having all I desires in life, the fact that I am free from any disease makes me feel better and happy. So, yeah, I can say that I am in a wellness state.
Interviewer: What are some of the benefits of well-being that may accrue to individuals and or society?
Interviewer 1: When someone is in a wellness state, I presume that such individuals are highly productive in work. They are relieved from stress factors that may hinder them from performing well in their places of work.
Interviewer 2: Wellness brings about positive social relationships and interaction activities among individuals. Happy individuals like spending their time with others as it also makes them happy.
In conclusion, well-being is an important phenomenon that is crucial for individuals and society. Throughout its development over the years, different scholars and psychologists have shown the importance of wellness to individuals and communities. For instance, numerous researchers have established a connection between well-being and job effectiveness, and productivity. According to Maccagnan et al. (2019), contentment influences a worker’s earnings and supervisor appraisal output. However, some factors affect individuals’ capacity to obtain their well-being. Such factors include unemployment, crime rates, poor health, and low levels of education. Therefore, governments should strive to provide and put measures to ensure that their citizens acquire positive states of wellness.
Baumgardner, S., & Crothers, M. (2014). Positive psychology (1st Ed). Pearson New International Edition.
Cooke, P. J., Melchert, T. P., & Connor, K. (2016). Measuring well-being: A review of instruments. The Counseling Psychologist, 44(5), 730-757. Web.
Maccagnan, A., Wren-Lewis, S., Brown, H., & Taylor, T. (2019). Well-being and society: Towards quantification of the co-benefits of well-being. Social Indicators Research, 141(1), 217-243. Web.
Ruggeri, K., Garcia-Garzon, E., Maguire, Á., Matz, S., & Huppert, F. A. (2020). Well-being is more than happiness and life satisfaction: A multidimensional analysis of 21 countries. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 18(1), 1-16. Web.