Wellbeing as part of Positive Resilience

by | 24 Oct 2023 | Mental Health, Positive Resilience, Unleashing You, Wellbeing

Wellbeing is a broad topic that is hard to clearly define with differing views of what it means.  As a pillar of positive resilience wellbeing is about the habits we adopt for our overall health, and how we get the balance right for us between the different areas of life.

Understanding wellbeing

Our overall health is an outcome of our physical, mental, and social wellbeing (WHO), but how this is defined and measured is subject to extensive debate and whole academic papers. 

I often describe wellbeing as the place where we have the balance between the challenges we face and the resources we have available to manage and overcome them (Dodge).

Wellbeing is also a continuum and if we are developing positive resilience  or working towards states of thriving and flourishing, we will need the balance to be in favour of our resources where we are confident we have the skills, habits and strategies to optimise our wellbeing. 

If we build our wellbeing we will be equipped to enjoy and live life to the full.

The benefits of increasing our wellbeing

If we have low levels of wellbeing we are likely to feel tired, lack energy, be disengaged, and struggle to cope with stress.  When we experience this, we are more likely to adopt unhealthy habits with a further negative impact on our wellbeing.

When we have a strong sense of wellbeing will have a range of health promoting habits.  We will also have a range of strategies to draw upon to cope effectively with stress.  An outcome of this is feeling energised and motivated, along with better physical and mental health.  What is important to realise is that this can be a continued upward spiral – the more resources we have to draw upon the more we can do and the better we feel.  This in term increases our resources even further.

Extensive research has demonstrated some of the specific benefits of looking after our wellbeing in relation to physical and mental health both preventative e.g. reduced levels of anxiety and depression; and enhancing e.g. increased creativity, better problem solving skills.

Increasing wellbeing

 Our mind and body are highly complex, both individually and in the myriad of ways each influences each other – both positively and negatively.  Arguably we only understand a tiny element of this complexity as we continue to learn.

Our sense of wellbeing will vary according to the challenges and opportunities we encounter, the strategies and habits we adopt, and our thoughts and belief systems. 

As a pillar of positive resilience we need to start with the basics of healthy habits which are sufficient good quality sleep, a diet that nourishes are mind and body, and adequate exercise to support our physical and psychological health.

Alongside this we should consider the tools and strategies that will help us.  Some of these will be emotion focused for example reframing unhelpful thoughts, relaxation practices to help us handle pressure, etc.  Others are problem focused to enable us to address sources of stress and identify ways to overcome them.

Notice the barriers to taking action for your wellbeing.  Sometimes they are practical and time barriers.  Often they are thought barriers associated with beliefs that self-care for our wellbeing is self-indulgent and time consuming, yet often strategies that benefit our wellbeing are changing unhelpful habits, particularly around our use of technology, and the boundaries around work and being available for others.

Tips for increasing wellbeing

  • Start with some self-reflection. Think about a time when you would have described your wellbeing as good and identify what you were doing to enable that.
  • Think about your daily/weekly routine and how you manage the basics of wellbeing. Do you prioritise your sleep?  Do you exercise regularly? Do you eat well? When do you rest and relax? What changes might you make?
  • Identify current causes of stress. Think about the strategies you could adopt more effectively to manage this stress, both emotion focused and problem focused strategies.
  • Are there any persistent stressors that would benefit from some new strategies? What might you do differently?
  • Book on to the next free Self-care Power Hour session to learn more about the different elements

This is one in a series of blog about the seven pillars of positive resilience.  Each includes tips on developing the resource. You will notice overlaps, and focusing on one can benefit other pillars with a cumulative outcome of greater positive resilience.  If you would like your personal Positive Resilience Profile to create your own plan get in touch.

The Positive Resilience Profile is a psychometric test developed by Peoplewise which we are accredited to provide.  It enables you to understand your current level in each pillar and get tailored guidance on developing each to enhance your positive resilience.  Contact us now to learn how to get your profile.

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To learn more please contact us on 01202 612 326 or through the options below. We’ll discuss details and how we can help you or your organisation.


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