These days, more and more people are paying attention to their psychological well-being. But it’s more than just a buzzword; it’s actually a vital component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know about psychological well-being, why it matters, and how to achieve and maintain it:
What Is “Psychological Well-Being”?
Psychological well-being may also be referred to as mental health that includes a sense of balance in emotion, thoughts, social relationships, and pursuits. It also involves an absence of mental illness. While this definition may seem simple enough, psychological well-being is actually incredibly complex and involves countless components.
Specifically, psychological well-being involves hedonic happiness based on enjoyment and pleasure. It also involves eudaimonic happiness based on meaning and fulfillment. Finally, it requires resilience thanks to coping mechanisms, regulation of emotions, and healthy problem-solving.
Why Does Psychological Well-Being Matter?
While it’s easy to focus on external factors, internal factors like psychological well-being are often neglected. But just because you can’t see them, it doesn’t mean they don’t matter. In fact, psychological well-being matters more than you’d think.
Studies have shown that those with higher psychological well-being are more likely to live healthier and longer lives with a better quality of life. They are also less likely to experience social problems, including criminal behaviors and drug and alcohol abuse.
How to Improve Your Psychological Well-Being?
Here are six tips to help you improve your psychological well-being:
1. Take Care of Yourself Physically
The first step to improving your psychological well-being is to take care of your physical well-being. This means getting enough sleep every night. This also means eating a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals. You also need to hydrate properly. Finally, you need to stay physically active — even if it just means taking a quick walk.
2. Practice Self-Care
While taking care of yourself physically can technically be considered “self-care,” sometimes it’s necessary to go a step further. Self-care is considered anything that makes you feel happy. For example, you could order your favorite dessert at the restaurant. You could purchase the item that you’ve been eyeing for months.
Improving yourself physically can also be a form of self-care as it makes you feel better about yourself. You could get your hair or nails done. You could get a massage to help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You could even use plastic or cosmetic surgery to improve your self-image and properly care for yourself.
For example, if you’re insecure about your body after having a baby, you could get a mommy makeover. If you’ve been insecure about your nose ever since you were a kid, you could get a rhinoplasty. If you’re insecure about developing wrinkles, you could get Botox.
3. Be Mindful and Positive
Being mindful can help improve your psychological well-being. You’re fully present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations by being mindful.
At the same time, you’re not overly reactive or overwhelmed by these thoughts, feelings, and sensations. To practice mindfulness, take a step back and focus on your breath before moving your focus outwards to cover your thoughts, feelings, and finally, sensations.
While being mindful, you also need to be positive. Negative thoughts, feelings, and events are an inevitable part of life. However, it’s important not to dwell on negative things and focus on positive things instead.
4. Be Grateful
In addition to being mindful and positive, you also need to be grateful for what you have right now. In tough times, it can be hard to note all the good things that you have in your life as you tend to focus on all of the negative things. But how can you actually do this daily?
The best way to practice gratitude is to physically write down all the things you’re thankful for daily in a gratitude journal. Try to come up with ten different things you’re thankful for each day. These don’t have to be big things at all! In fact, it’s great to be thankful for the small things.
5. Connect With Others
Human beings need to connect with others to maintain psychological well-being. We are all social beings that crave connection and meaningful relationships. So while it may be tempting to close yourself off when you’re having a bad mental health day, this approach is actually quite counterproductive.
Instead, reach out to the people who care about you to see if they can get lunch, coffee, dinner, etc. Even if you can’t physically meet up with your support system, sometimes just a phone call or a video chat can make you feel a lot better. It helps to have a diverse support system of family, friends, and colleagues.
6. Give Back to Others
Another thing that can do wonders for your psychological well-being is to give back to others whenever and however you can. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you have to donate hundreds of dollars to charity. If you lack money but have plenty of time to spare, you may want to consider volunteering for a cause in your community that you care about.
Still, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference in the lives of others. For example, you could pay for the person behind you in the drive-through. You could give out gift cards or care packages to those less fortunate. Even holding the door or helping people with their groceries can be enough to make a difference! There’s really no act too small here.
Final Thoughts on Psychological Well-Being
As you can see, psychological well-being is a complex concept that differs from person to person.
Someone could use plastic surgery to improve their psychological well-being, while someone else could use meditation. There’s no single approach for achieving and maintaining your psychological well-being. Instead, you need to consider your own needs and goals to develop an approach that works for you.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Robert Applebaum
Dr. Robert Applebaum is a world renowned and highly respected Plastic Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In his nearly 30 years as a practicing physician, Dr. Applebaum has become known as an innovator in the field of laser technology techniques for plastic surgery procedures. He has published numerous articles and scientific papers about the use of laser technology and educates physicians worldwide on the applications of laser technology for plastic surgery. Dr. Applebaum primarily practices out of his private outpatient surgery center, Four Thirty Six Aesthetic Surgery Center, which is located in Beverly Hills.