What is well-being and why does it matter?
Taking Care of Your Social, Physical, and Psychological Well-Being
Recently, it seems the term “well-being” is everywhere you look—it’s online, in book titles, and has whole YouTube videos dedicated to it. Well-being is a broad term that contains a lot of complex ideas, however, and it seems that everyone interprets it just a little bit differently. So what is well-being, and why does it matter?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines well-being as “the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous.” On a simple surface level, this is true—but it’s also a little more complicated than that. Well-being doesn’t mean that you have to have the perfect life or make boatloads of money; it means seeking ways to be as healthy and happy as you can. Overall, it’s feeling fulfilled in all areas of your life, and that’s why it’s so important—it helps you to maintain a positive outlook and to enjoy life more.
Understanding the definition of well-being doesn’t always make it easier to achieve. Well-being takes practice, and it’s a life-long journey. Just like you can’t stop exercising for an extended period of time and expect to stay toned and fit enough for a marathon, you need to continue practicing well-being in order to maintain its sense of fulfillment. Generally, well-being is best achieved by breaking it down into three areas: physical, social, and psychological well-being. If you focus on each of these areas in turn and tailor your approach to your values and personality, it’ll be easier for you to achieve well-being.
Physical well-being is all about maintaining a healthy body. We understand that some aspects of your health are simply out of your control—some people are born with or develop chronic illnesses or disabilities through no fault of their own and will never achieve “perfect health.” No matter what your physical health is, however, you can still achieve physical well-being since it’s about becoming the healthiest you can be. Focus on taking care of your body through a healthy diet, an exercise routine that challenges you at your level of fitness, good hygiene, and regular checkups with your primary care physician and dentist.
Oral health is an often-overlooked part of maintaining your physical well-being, but your oral health has an impact on your overall health; periodontitis (gum disease) can worsen existing health issues like diabetes and increases your risk of stroke or heart disease. Start or maintain an oral hygiene routine that includes brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day as well as flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day. This helps you to prevent cavities and periodontitis—as well as the unpleasant and sometimes costly treatments you may need if you neglect your oral health.
When you go to both your dentist and your doctor for regular appointments, you’re able to catch potential issues early, such as periodontitis, vitamin deficiencies, or high cholesterol, and can take steps to treat the issue before it becomes major. You don’t have to implement a stellar diet or a hardcore exercise routine all at once, however; it will be easier and less intimidating if you ease into these changes, slowly improving your diet and beginning with shorter, less intense workouts that you can adjust as you become fitter.
Social well-being involves developing healthy and meaningful relationships with other people, gaining a support network, and being part of a community. In order to develop social well-being, we need to find the time to connect with other people and forge meaningful friendships with them. You might be busy, but try to set aside time to spend with your family, friends, and significant other. Building your communication skills and expressing gratitude—even for everyday acts of kindness—are an important part of building and maintaining healthy relationships. It helps you to avoid conflict, understand each other better, and lets the people you care about know that you appreciate them. You can also improve your relationships by performing little acts of kindness for your friends or family; this will make them feel appreciated and loved and will likely leave you feeling fulfilled, too.
Psychological well-being is caring for your mental health and feeling emotionally fulfilled. It’s actually impacted by both your physical and social well-being; staying healthy and exercising can improve your mood and give you more energy, while having a great support system and healthy relationships is incredibly important for your emotional health. Without solid relationships, you can be left feeling isolated and lonely. Your psychological well-being doesn’t rely entirely on your health or social life, however, so there are other ways you can hone in on and improve it. If you’re suffering from mental health issues, one major thing you can do is try to get help for those issues; mental health is just as important as physical health.
You can improve your emotional health by trying to reduce your stress levels and by finding an activity that relaxes or calms you. If you’re not feeling fulfilled at your job, try working towards a job where you will feel fulfilled—you’ll feel more positive and excited for each day if you aren’t going to a job you hate. Additionally, you should work on practicing positive thinking, gratitude, or mindfulness to help you to stay positive. Our brains are trained to see the negative side of things—it helps with survival—but the good news is that if you work on positive thinking consistently, you can actually retrain your brain to think positively first. This won’t eliminate every bad day, but the idea is to face each day and situation with optimism and to gain a sense of satisfaction and happiness with your life.
Well-being isn’t about earning boatloads of cash or being incredibly successful; rather, it’s about finding joy and a sense of purpose in your everyday life. Much like anything worth achieving, finding well-being and the sense of fulfillment it brings does take some work, but it more than gives back the effort you put into it. It teaches you to value the people around you and to love and care for yourself, helping you to face each day with joy and purpose. If you’re hoping to improve your physical well-being and haven’t seen the dentist for a while, you can contact Dallas Cosmetic Dental to schedule an appointment at any time.