Take the path to well-being

Today I’d like to share a model for well-being developed by Professor Carol Ryff from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has built her model on a solid scientific foundation over the past 25 years.


Professor Ryff says well-being is broader than medicine or biology. And her model for well-being outshines others. It doesn’t merely focus on positive emotions and happiness. Here are the six components of her model that lead to well-being: 


First is self-acceptance which means you possess a positive attitude toward yourself, acknowledge and accept your good and bad qualities, and feel positive about your past.


The second component is steady personal growth. Some signs of that include being open to new experiences and witnessing yourself growing and expanding. You’ll also notice an improvement in yourself and your behavior over time and catch yourself changing in ways that reflect more self-knowledge and effectiveness.


Third, you have a robust purpose in life. You have goals that give meaning to your life and a reason for living.


Fourth, you have warm, satisfying, and trusting relationships with others. You are concerned about the welfare of others, are capable of intense empathy, affection, and intimacy, and understand the give and take of human relationships.


Fifth, you are a master of your environment and competently manage it, whether it’s the activities in your home or external activities in the world outside your home. You see and effectively take advantage of opportunities that suit your personal needs and values.


And, finally, you are self-determined and independent. You resist social pressures to think and act in certain ways. Instead, you regulate your behavior based on your personal standards.


Do you have all those components in your life? I don’t, but I think they’re worthy targets to aim for, so that’s what I’m going to do.



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