The philosophical point is that our happiness and wellbeing is not based on incomes rising. This is not just the wisdom of sages but of ordinary people. Prosperity is more social and psychological: it’s about identification, affiliation, participation in society and a sense of purpose.

Tim Jackson

What is well-being?

Well-being is when we feel a positive quality of life experience. Well-being is the state of being healthy, safe, and happy.* The study of well-being aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive. But what is well-being? For the sake of explanation, well-being can be classified into six aspects. It should be remembered that these aspects are not separate but are deeply connected pieces in the well-being puzzle.

What is well-being hexagram

What is well-being – the six aspects


Physical well-being is about being safe and in good health. It relates to factors like diet, exercise, rest and sleep. If our physical wellness improves, we will tend to experience greater emotional well-being. However, illness, chronic disease and certain environmental factors can reduce well-being. Read more»


Intellectual well-being comes from pursuing challenging and stimulating activities for development and growth. It involves creativity, curiosity and openness to new ideas. Intellectual wellness usually includes participating in cultural and intellectual activities such as performances, lectures, workshops and museums. Read more»


This is the state of positive relationships with people. Social stability, social trust, social connectedness and social networks are primary needs for social wellness. Moral standard, child development, freedom, response to change are the important features of social well-being. Read more»


Vocational well-being is the ability to achieve personal satisfaction and fulfilment from work, maintain balance in our lives and make a positive difference within the organisations in which we work as well as the communities where we live.  Read more»


Emotional well-being describes a mental state where we have positive feelings of satisfaction, confidence and engagement with the world. Wellness changes depending on circumstances. Cultivating emotional well-being helps people cope better with the normal ups and downs in life. Read more»


Inner well-being is harmony between our inner life and the outer world. It is about finding meaning in life and the feeling that we are part of something larger than the challenges of everyday life. Showing kindness, trust, forgiveness, compassion and empathy have a role in providing inner well-being. Read more»

* Note: Unfortunately in many parts of the world well-being is affected by circumstances out of people’s control. Tyrannical government, wars, famines, epidemics, crime, poverty and discrimination can all have terrible effects on people’s well-being. This article is not intended to address these people or these problems but rather it addresses those people in good circumstances.

Well-being is about doing what you really want to do