I have often wondered what it would feel like to be truly content. I have always wanted to learn all that I could about what we, as individuals, need to do to feel content. Over time, I began to realize that it’s not one specific thing that will make us content; it is a combination of things. When these things are brought together in balance, they support us in feeling content, at peace, and able and willing to experience our emotions in a fluid, empowering way.
This balance enables us to experience life in the here and now and on our terms. It also enables us to be fully present in our day to day lives. This sense of balance can also be described as a sense of wellbeing. Wellbeing is becoming a highly researched subject, and there is a range of theories and frameworks that focus on how to achieve this state. Interestingly, one theory that was put forward by the American psychologist Rhyff acknowledges the importance of six specific areas that contribute to people’s sense of wellbeing. These include:
- Self-acceptance (self-love and self-care)
- Personal growth (being able to step out of your comfort zone)
- Purpose in life (why you do what you do)
- Living life mastery (a feeling of “You’ve got this!”)
- Autonomy (“I know my own mind and have a clear sense of myself.”)
- Secure relations with others (“I’m at ease with my relationships and easily able to express myself.”)
All these things, when combined in the right balance for each individual, will positively contribute to that person’s sense of wellbeing. It is important to acknowledge that the balance of those six areas will potentially be different for each of us. It is about recognizing the perfect balance that works for you personally without being influenced by external factors, such as what your partner thinks, what your extended family might think, or what your friends might think. Some factors may be more important for some individuals than for others. And that is okay. There is no right or wrong in this regard. It is about finding the balance that resonates with you – a balance that sits comfortably with you and resonates with who you truly are.
By helping yourself develop a deeper awareness of these wellbeing markers, you can learn how to manage them effectively. This then supports you in finding your individual state of equilibrium. So, we have six markers to explore and consider. As you work to find the combination of these markers that fits best for you, think for a moment and consider these markers. Which of these are the most important for you personally? What if applying these supportive steps around these six markers helped get you from a chaotic pace of life to a place of inner calm? Getting to know your wellbeing markers, reflecting on them, and tending to them regularly will help you feel more empowered. You will have your own go-to personal wellbeing system which will enable you to take life in your stride and stay grounded within your own sense of inner calm. So take some time to reflect, and consider what the most important markers are for you. Ok, so now give yourself some space and time and have a think about which of these markers you would like to work on over the next few days or weeks. Which one is standing out for you?