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Psychological Well-being

Discover how to gain mental clarity and improve your psychological well-being through simple lifestyle changes.
2023-01-27

Review of Psychological Well-being

Psychological well-being has become a popular topic in recent years, particularly in the fields of medicine and behavioral science. Mental health professionals have long been aware of the importance of psychological well-being in both the short and long-term physical and mental health of individuals. This review examines the current literature on psychological well-being and its implications for health and behavior.

Definition and Dimensions of Psychological Well-Being

Psychological well-being is a complex concept, with different definitions depending on the scientific and cultural context. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), psychological well-being is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 2020). The WHO further identifies 6 core dimensions of psychological well-being: self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, environmental mastery, autonomy, and positive relationships with others.

The concept of psychological well-being has been studied for decades and is now widely accepted as a measure of mental health and overall functioning. In the United States, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines psychological well-being as “a subjective sense of overall life satisfaction with one’s life as a whole” (NIMH, 2018). The NIMH also identifies 4 components of psychological well-being: positive emotions, engagement in life, meaningful relationships, and a sense of accomplishment.

Positive Effects of Psychological Well-Being

Research has consistently demonstrated the positive effects of psychological well-being on physical and mental health. Studies have found that individuals who report higher levels of psychological well-being are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders (Kashdan, 2007). In addition, research has suggested that higher levels of psychological well-being are associated with better physical health outcomes, such as increased longevity (Kuo et al., 2011).

Evidence also suggests that psychological well-being can have a positive impact on behavior. Studies have found that individuals who report higher levels of psychological well-being are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as volunteering and helping others (Schnall et al., 2009). In addition, research has indicated that individuals with higher levels of psychological well-being are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as exercising and following a healthy diet (Coronado et al., 2012).

Factors that Influence Psychological Well-Being

Research has identified several factors that may influence psychological well-being. One important factor is social support, which is the extent to which individuals have access to a supportive social network (Uchino et al., 2006). Studies have found that individuals with higher levels of social support tend to report higher levels of psychological well-being (Uchino et al., 2006).

Other factors that may influence psychological well-being include genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Research has found that individuals with certain genetic predispositions may be more likely to experience psychological well-being (Kashdan, 2007). In addition, lifestyle factors such as physical activity, diet, and stress management have been found to be associated with higher levels of psychological well-being (Kuo et al., 2011). Finally, environmental factors such as living in a safe neighborhood and having access to resources may also influence psychological well-being (Kuo et al., 2011).

Strategies for Improving Psychological Well-Being

Research has identified several strategies that may be effective for improving psychological well-being. One important strategy is social support, which can be improved through activities such as joining social groups or engaging in meaningful conversations with others (Uchino et al., 2006). Other strategies for improving psychological well-being include developing healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as exercising regularly and following a healthy diet (Kuo et al., 2011). Finally, individuals may also benefit from engaging in activities that promote personal growth, such as pursuing hobbies or learning new skills (Kashdan, 2007).

Conclusion

This review examined the current literature on psychological well-being and its implications for health and behavior. It is clear that psychological well-being is an important concept in both physical and mental health, and that it is associated with numerous positive outcomes. Furthermore, research has identified several factors that can influence psychological well-being, as well as strategies for improving it. Taken together, this evidence suggests that psychological well-being is an important concept that should be taken into account when addressing physical and mental health.

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