The Stats on Wellbeing & Potential

Wellbeing & Potential
Photo by Andrew Nicholson

Repeated studies of wellbeing  have shown that less than one in five of us (17%) live in a regular state of ‘flourishing’ wellbeing, a place from which living to our potential becomes entirely possible and likely. Conversely, nearly a third of us are struggling with our emotional wellness either ‘languishing’ on the brink of more serious mental health issues (11%) or having been diagnosed e.g. often with depression, anxiety or stress (18%). The rest of us (54%) have what the psychologists describe as ‘moderate’ levels of wellbeing, which typically means we have our good days and not so good days/situations/moments/relationships….

Whether you are experiencing flourishing, moderate or lower levels of wellbeing, these are in fact ‘states’ on a scale. We can slide up and down this scale quite rapidly. If you don’t believe me, just go and watch a video of something that makes you happy, angry or sad – our moods can quickly alter and be influenced.

It is not the same for each of us. We react in different ways. Some of us are more emotional, so can experience higher highs and lower lows. Studies and shown that we all have a different ‘set-point’ for happiness. These are all elements of what some refer to as our character.

Whatever our character, we can all influence where we are on this spectrum of wellbeing. There are many things that we can and often unwittingly do do to take us up and down this map of emotions. Yet so many of us feel that we don’t have full control over our emotions and wellbeing. You only have to look at inspirational people like Stephen Hawking or Victor Frankl, to get a (strong) inkling that this may not be the case.

You don’t have to look far on this website to know that understanding and mastering the ego is at the core of what we teach. Learning to manage our emotional state and wellbeing (also known as resilience) is a key aspect of this. As our state dips down this spectrum, our behaviour reverts to the core negative aspects of our egotype. Conversely, when we choose to positively influence our state, we can release ourselves from the limiting and potentially harmful effects of our ego, our behaviour and responses to situations becomes more flexible.

It has been said that the most flexible people are the most successful i.e. they can adapt to situations. When you come to know your self well, it is entirely possible to be adaptable and still remain authentic and true to yourself and your core values. Learning the truth of this and the tools that help to keep you there, means that it becomes part of your identity. This is the personal development journey. It starts with awareness, then moves to acceptance and taking responsibility, finally you know the truth of this and to live any other way would seem inauthentic and uncomfortable.

Exactly the same process holds true in reverse. People who are struggling with their wellbeing, don’t believe that they can easily positively influence their state. If they have been stuck there for a while, it becomes part of their identity (something that is not necessarily helped by giving them a clinical diagnosis when it is not absolutely necessary). From this place, happiness and wellbeing can seem so far away as to feel inauthentic and not possible.

Life does not have to spiral downwards out of our control. Learning about our motivations, happiness setpoints and how our egotype typically traverses this map of emotions i.e. understanding our own unique emotional terrain and potential for wellbeing is the first step to giving ourselves permission and allowing us to step into an upward spiral or vortex that can takes us into resilient levels of wellbeing, success and happiness.

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