Jesus said, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly” and I would argue that he was referring to both eternal life and life in the present. Secular psychologists use the term “thriving” for what Christians might call an “abundant life”–at least this side of Heaven. In fact, researchers have identified 5 traits that correspond with living life to the full.
1. Hedonic Well-Being–has to do with how much satisfaction and enjoyment you get from your life. If you know how to enjoy yourself in healthy ways, have a good sense of humor, have compelling hobbies and interests, and take pleasure in the simple joys of daily life, you can be said to have a healthy degree of “hedonic well-being.”
2. Eudaimonic Well-Being–involves feeling like you are living a meaningful and purposeful life. If you feel that you are making a positive difference with your life, can identify the small ways you are making the world a better place by your presence or efforts, and have a sense that at least certain people are better off because you are in their life, you may be exhibiting a strong sense of “Eudaimonic Well-Being.”
3. Psychological Well-Being—has to do with having a healthy, positive view of oneself combined with the absence of any mental health symptoms or disorders. If you like who you are as a person, feel good about your ability to set and meet positive goals in your life, and don’t exhibit psychological/emotional problems that negatively impact your ability to function well in your work, roles, and relationships, you probably exhibit a high degree of “Psychological Well-Being.”
4. Social Well-Being–involves having meaningful connections to people you care about and who care about you. If you feel that you can have faith in other people, that others are basically trustworthy, if you are affirmed by a group that shares your values and beliefs, and feel generally cared for by the people who share your life, you probably have a high degree of Social Well-Being.
5. Physical Well-Being– As you might guess, Physical Well-Being refers to your physical strength and health. If you are physically fit, at a good weight for your height, are able to maintain appropriate activity levels, and are physically capable to doing all the activities that are important to you, you probably exhibit a high degree of Physical Well-Being.
Very few people have achieved well-being across all five areas associated with thriving, but the degree to which you can say you exhibit at least some of each of these 5 categories of well-being is the degree to which you can say that you are thriving in your life, rather than just surviving it.
Beyond being a measure of the degree to which a person is thriving, these categories can be very useful in helping you determine which areas to focus on in order to achieve greater fulfillment in your life. Which areas are you strongest in? Which areas would you like to make improvements?
If you would like to learn more about how you can thrive in every area of your life and relationships, contact the Pastoral Solutions Institute Tele-Counseling Practice (740-266-6461) to speak with a counselor about how you can start living a more abundant life today!