We should ask: What is all encompassing wellbeing and for what purpose is it important? We need to move beyond life satisfaction, a common metric, to consider a wide variety of dimensions of well-being. The value of life satisfaction is useful for comparisons across major populations, but its use as an individual metric is limited and may fail to capture important insights. The more comprehensive view of all aspects of wellbeing should guide policy and interventions.
The underlying assumption of well-being is that it is the opposite of mental ill-health. Positive mental health is often seen as the opposite of mental illness, but it also resembles the opposite. Using the DSM-IV and ICD-10 symptom criteria for depression and anxiety, Huppert and So’s study aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of mental wellbeing.
Wellness is a holistic approach to living that fosters positive interactions between human action and planetary health. It extends from disease to optimal wellbeing. Patients in poor health engage in a medical paradigm, seeking treatment for an illness, and interact with their doctors episodically. Meanwhile, people who are in good health focus on prevention and maximization of vitality, and adopt lifestyles and attitudes that help them avoid disease. The emergence of wellness is an extension of the growing consumer value for healthy living.
The term “well-being” has many definitions, including mental health, physical health, and social wellbeing. However, the term “well-being” is now generally referred to a composite of these dimensions. It includes various aspects of living such as having positive emotions, developing one’s potential, and having positive relationships. This broader definition of wellbeing is often referred to as subjective well-being.