Each of us is unique in our temperament, early family life, experiences of trauma, losses and stresses that can bring us to a place where we feel we are not coping. You may be suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, life changes such as divorce or loss of work or any number of the experiences humans have that lead to poor mental health.
Investing in your self and having a skilful professional guide on your journey of self-discovery, positive change and well-being is an investment that give multiple returns.
So what is well-being?
Well-being is multidimensional. It is the experience of ourselves in the dimensions of : autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, purpose in life, positive relations and self acceptance. A good life is balanced and whole, engaging each of the different aspects of well-being instead of being narrowly focussed on just happiness or positive emotions.
Professor Carol Ryff has been one of the pioneers of developing a model of well-being that has undergone rigorous research. Ryff defines these 6 dimensions as:
- Self-Acceptance : You possess a positive attitude toward yourself; acknowledge and accept multiple aspects of yourself including both good and bad qualities; and feel positive about your past life.
- Personal Growth: You have a feeling of continued development; see yourself as growing and expanding; are open to new experiences; have the sense of realising your potential; see improvement in yourself and behaviour over time; are changing in ways that reflect more self-knowledge and effectiveness.
- Purpose in Life: You have goals in life and a sense of directedness; feel there is meaning to your present and past life; hold beliefs that give life purpose; and have aims and objectives for living.
- Strong Positive Relations: You have warm, satisfying, trusting relationships with others; are concerned about the welfare of others; are capable of strong empathy, affection, and intimacy; and understand the give and take of human relationships.
- Environmental Mastery:You have a sense of mastery and competence in managing the environment; control complex array of external activities; make effective use of surrounding opportunities; and are able to choose or create contexts suitable to your personal needs and values.
- High Autonomy: You are self-determining and independent; are able to resist social pressures to think and act in certain ways; regulate behaviour from within; and evaluate yourself by personal standards.