There are many definitions for what well-being means, the OED definition is ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’. In 2012 a new definition for well-being was proposed by Dodge et al, ‘as the balance point between an individual’s resource pool and the challenges faced’ summarised by the image below and you can read the full paper here
This really appealed to me as a definition as it captures everything we talk about in Zen Pilates. In class I share a practical self-care tip each week to help build my students library of tools and activities that energise and boost your well-being toolkit. This then equips you to successfully tackle and respond to life’s challenges – exactly as Dodge et al describe in their definition.
This framework is also broad enough to reflect just how individual this balance is – what energises one person may drain another, what someone sees as a challenge might be an opportunity to another. We need to know ourselves in order to strike the right balance for us individually.
There are so many conflicting ideas about what constitutes health and wellbeing that it can be really overwhelming to navigate. Taking a ‘balanced’ approach is becoming an increasingly popular perspective. Diets that label some foods as bad and others as good are outmoded now, same with exercise no one exercise style is deemed better than another in fact a complimentary mix is now seen as ideal, same with any one set style to work or even family set up. It’s about getting to know yourself and what brings you a sense of health and wellbeing and then making the time to regularly put those wellbeing practices in place.
Well-being resources are highly personal but a few that are commonly backed by science and recommended by leaders in this field include; moving your body, breath work (which can be as simple as a few minutes just noticing your breath) gratitude practice, acts of kindness, walks in nature, taking regular breaks from any activity and balanced eating.
So take a moment to reflect on your ‘well-being balance’, how are life’s challenges leaving you feeling at the moment and could you top up your inner ‘resources’ to serve you better and increase your overall sense of wellbeing.
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