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What is Well-being and how can we achieve it?

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Well-being (a state of wellness) is not just the absence of disease or illness. It's a complex combination of a person's physical, mental, emotional and social health factors. Well-being is strongly linked to happiness and life satisfaction and in short, well-being could be described as how you feel about yourself and your life. It’s actually been around for centuries in its various forms with the term ‘wellness’ being coined in 1650 which was then used to describe the opposite of illness. But in modern day, it can simply be described as feeling good.

If you frame it as being comfortable, healthy and happy as a starter but with the caveat of knowing it can also include other things such as our values, fulfilment of long-term goals, our sense of purpose and actually how in control we feel in life. It is an active process of becoming aware of and making conscious choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. Being able to develop, grow and overcome difficulties to achieve what we want out of life.

Professor Nathan Price, chief scientific officer of Thorne HealthTech, and a member of the Institute for Systems Biology says: ‘In essence, wellness is the basis on which to build everything else we want in life - the health to pursue our dreams, to be engaged with our loved ones, and to develop our highest self’.

Wow, a really broad topic then! So let’s try and show you how we can make positive changes to well-being in order to live healthier and happier lives. Firstly though it may help to break it down into the different types of well-being so we have five clear areas:

Mental Well-being: This is to have the ability to cope with everyday life and to recover quickly from any setbacks with resilience, it refers to our ability to process information.

Emotional well-being: This is the ability to be in control of our feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Being emotionally well enables us to express our emotions, feel engaged with the world and experience positive self-esteem. It refers to our ability to express feelings which are based upon information we have processed.

Physical Well-being: This is about our body and mind being in a balanced state of health through regular exercise and healthy eating. Physical well-being is not just being free of disease, it is our body functioning well enough to prevent lifestyle disease.

Social Well-being: This is to experience a sense of belonging, stability and inclusion, it is the extent to which we feel all three. It’s about having the ability to develop meaningful relationships, being able to communicate well and maintaining a support network. It also encompasses our values and our beliefs.

Spiritual Well-being: This is our life purpose, our needs and our personal philosophy that brings meaning to our lives.

For us to achieve optimal well-being therefore, we have to encompass every element of well-being in order to feel the best we can and to live our very best life. For example what we eat, how we exercise, what information we consume, how we spend our free time, the quality of our relationships, our sleep habits to name a few. These all impact us and the basic premise of well-being is to consciously practice positive habits in each of these areas daily to keep our mind, body, and spirit healthy and in balance.

But everyone is different and everyone’s perception of well-being can massively vary. It’s about finding what works for us as individuals and not becoming obsessed with it, everything in moderation whilst also living life. Our lifestyle is a combination of our habits, so it’s about turning some of our poor habits into ones that better serve us, our overall health and ultimately our well-being.

Some simple examples on how to create healthier habits to enhance our well-being are listed below. Start really small to make any new habit achievable and attach to an existing habit to enforce the behaviour. Try and pick one from the list below that you can take forward into your week:

Water - increase your water intake by drinking a glass of water after brushing your teeth in the morning or at night

Make your bed - after brushing your teeth make your bed and set your day up for success

Whole foods - add one portion of fresh vegetables or salad to your lunch or dinner each day

Snacking - exchange an existing snack habit for an alternative healthier option, this could be a handful of whole nuts or seeds, a bit of fresh fruit, a rice cake with peanut butter, a boiled egg

Move your body - use the stairs instead of the escalator, park further away in the supermarket car park and increase your steps, walk to the local shops instead of driving, go for a walk after lunch or dinner

A random act of kindness - this can benefit our own mental health and doesn’t have to cost anything, try making a cuppa for a colleague when you make one for yourself, have a chat with your elderly neighbour as you get out of your car, give a meal to a mate if you make too much at dinner. Try any of these simple acts and see how you feel after

Bedtime routine - when you get into bed scan your memory and pick out one thing you are grateful for and why. You can have the worst day in the world but by finishing the day focused on a positive, means you can go to sleep in a better frame of mind setting you up for the next day.

In summary

As you can see, well-being doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to overthink it. It’s about adding in small beneficial healthier habits on to existing habits to make them achievable and easy to stick with. The aim is they become ‘habitual’ and therefore part of your lifestyle going forward. It’s about ‘progress not perfection’, looking at our whole self and changing our mindset to work towards a more positive state of well-being.

To find out more about my coaching methods click here. I can help if you need support finding your purpose or re-establishing your values, if you are stressed out, your life feels out of balance, you have weight management issues or you would like to learn how to eat for health.

To book your FREE 15 minute consultation click here or email me at

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