What is ‘wellbeing’?

When we use the term ‘wellbeing’ we’re talking about how people feel and function in their lives.

Our wellbeing is influenced by a number of factors including genes, experiences and environments (work, financial situation and where we live). More importantly, our wellbeing is influenced by the actions we take and the way we think.

For the purposes of this study, we thought ‘awesome‘ was a great Kiwi way to describe whether people are flourishing or not.

Awesome people have:

  • A sense of vitality and ‘get-up-and-go’
  • A positive approach to life and an ability to bounce back when things go wrong.
  • A sense of direction, and choose activities that give them a feeling of fulfilment and independence.
  • Good social connections with other people.
  • Take notice of the world around them, embrace new experiences and take opportunities to learn.

Paying attention to our wellbeing can help us to get more out of life and cope better with life’s challenges. Positive wellbeing also has benefits to society as a whole, including greater social cohesion, increased productivity, lower rates of illness and reduced crime.

Interesting facts about wellbeing:

  • Our happiness can contribute to the happiness of others.
  • Most people think that success leads to happiness, but research shows this formula is backward: happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
  • Giving away money or time through volunteering tends to make people happier than spending it on themselves.
  • Trust is a major determinant of happiness.
  • For every one happy friend in your social network, your own chance of being happy rises by 9%.
  • Optimistic people are much less likely to die of heart attacks.
  • In every society, family or other close relationships are the most important.
  • On average people are happier when they are young and when they’re old.
  • Despite massive economic growth, people are no happier now than they were the 1950s.
  • Individuals with a positive outlook are less likely to get flu when exposed to the flu virus.