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Redefine Well-Being: 15 Pragmatic Ways to Live a Flourishing Life

Well-being used to mean something completely different than it does today. Daily life in today’s developed countries has become so fast-paced and technological that it barely resembles your great-grandparent’s life. The world has changed significantly, and so it makes sense that the definition of well-being has evolved. What does it mean today to be a flourishing person who possesses deep well-being?

The video lower within this article should prove helpful.

From Surviving to Thriving: Redefining Well-Being in Modern Times

Beyond physical health, well-being now encompasses a holistic approach that factors in your mental, emotional, and relational life.

It’s not just about surviving; it’s about flourishing.

Flourishing means you’re not just getting by; you’re thriving.

Below, I’m sharing this new definition of well-being, and I provide you with practical ways to assess if you’re truly flourishing in life – and what to do about it if you’re not.

How to Look Truthfully at Your Own Life

First, you must look plainly at your own life and make an honest assessment.

This can be an unfamiliar process for some people.

People sometimes have very ideological ideas about how life should be – ideas that are either too intellectualized or overly romantic.

Overthinking in this way is like a rabbit hole, and going down it is often unhelpful.

You know this already if you’ve ever met someone whose family, financial, romantic, or professional life clearly isn’t working. Yet, that person insists on continuing to do things the same way year after year, expecting different results. That’s usually a person who is ideological and habitual instead of pragmatic.

The Importance of Pragmatism

When assessing your current life, it helps to get grounded in pragmatism.

Instead of overthinking it for days, try to keep it simple. Ask yourself:

  • What activities bring me the most joy?
  • Which people bring me the most joy?
  • Which behaviors and habits actually enrich my physical and mental health?
Dane Findley presenting on the new definition of well-being and how to tell if you're thriving

You’re here in this life to have an earthly experience. That’s why sometimes it’s helpful to assess your life through a pragmatic perspective. It grounds you.

A pragmatic perspective is a mindset that emphasizes practicality, effectiveness, and real-world application.

The focus is on practical outcomes and tangible results rather than adhering strictly to theoretical principles.

Because, let’s face it, the value of an idea usually lies in its ability to produce practical consequences and solve real-life problems.

Flourishing in Life: New Well-Being Definition & Practical Assessment

If you want to be a flourishing human, I encourage you to prioritize action, experimentation, and course correction based on observed outcomes.

Be open to adjusting your methods and beliefs if evidence or experience suggests a more pragmatic solution.

When considering any self-improvement action, evaluate its potential usefulness to your life.

Remember to use context clues, too.

Pragmatic thinkers consider the circumstances, cultural norms, and social factors influencing a situation to determine the most effective action. Taking things in their whole context helps prevent you from being too reactive or ideological.

Pragmatic perspectives embrace flexibility and adaptability.

Acknowledge that solutions and approaches must be adjusted as circumstances change or new information becomes available. This is what I mean by course correction.

Let’s Compare (but only for a moment)

I’m not a big believer in relentlessly comparing yourself to others. In fact, there’s been some evidence that relentless comparisons can deteriorate your health.

However, when evaluating your life pragmatically, it can be helpful to briefly see yourself in a realistic context by knowing how your situation compares to most others.

Who knows? You might find out that you were catastrophizing a predicament when you could have been celebrating or feeling grateful instead.

For instance, more than two-thirds of the world lives on less than $2 a day. If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re in the top third of the world in terms of lifestyle.

Even if you wanted not to include unemployed or self-employed people (like small farmers in developing countries), you’d still be among the world’s richest if you earned more than $18,000 a year – which is the average income of salaried employees across the globe.

As another example, you might feel “othered” because you watch movies and streaming shows where everyone is happily coupled, and you’re single.

But about 40 to 50% (depending on the economy at the time) of marriages in North America end in divorce. Australia and the UK have lower divorce rates, and Vietnam has the lowest of all but, keep in mind, that no matter the country or state of its current economy – just because a couple remains married doesn’t mean they have a healthy, functioning relationship.

In many couplings, the partners are habitually unkind or impatient with each other, for example. Or, they have long since stopped having sex.

I’m not saying these are bad couples (there’s nothing wrong with sex-free marriage if it works for all partners), but I am saying that maybe being single is not as bad as you previously thought.

 

And finally, you may be grumpy and dissatisfied with your circumstances, but if you are currently enjoying physical health then, really, your whole life is pure potential for joy and fulfillment – and what you make of it is up to you.

The tens of millions of people struggling with chronic disease and debilitating symptoms would tell you to count your blessings. Health is everything!

So, looking from the highest altitude, you can see that a life with financial freedom (debt-free, with some money in savings), dependable sensuality, and absence of disease is – comparatively – already an indication that you’re probably flourishing. But to know for certain, you’ll need to look more closely at a few key areas.

Guide to Flourishing: A New Approach to Your Well-Being

Here are 15 factors that determine your well-being in today’s era.

Mental well-being is a crucial component of overall well-being. It refers to your cognitive and emotional state. Here are some signs that indicate you’re flourishing mentally:

a) Positive Mindset: Flourishing individuals possess a positive outlook on life. They focus on gratitude, optimism, and self-empowerment. They actively seek opportunities for personal growth and are open to new experiences.

b) Emotional Resilience: Flourishing individuals have the ability to bounce back from setbacks. They have emotional intelligence and can effectively regulate their emotions. They are adaptable and display a high level of self-awareness.

c) Stress Management: Flourishing individuals have effective coping mechanisms to deal with stress. They prioritize self-care, engage in deep relaxation techniques, and seek support when needed.

Physical well-being forms the foundation of overall well-being. It encompasses your physical health, fitness, and vitality. To determine if you’re thriving physically, consider the following indicators:

a) Energy Levels: Flourishing individuals have high energy levels and maintain consistent daily vitality. They prioritize sleep, exercise regularly, and fuel their bodies with nutritious foods.

flourishing woman over 40 flexing and embodying the new definition of well-being

This flourishing, over-40 athlete is an example of the new definition of well-being. Of course, well-being looks different on each person because each person has unique hopes and goals. What would help you to flourish?

b) Healthy Habits: Flourishing individuals adopt healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular physical training, balanced nutrition, and adequate hydration. They avoid harmful substances and maintain healthy body weight.

c) Body Awareness: Flourishing individuals strongly connect with their bodies. They listen to their body’s signals, prioritize rest and recovery, and address any physical discomfort promptly.

Emotional well-being relates to your ability to understand and manage your emotions effectively. It involves building healthy relationships, expressing yourself authentically, and cultivating a sense of belonging. Here’s how to gauge if you’re thriving emotionally:

a) Emotional Intelligence: Flourishing individuals possess emotional intelligence. They understand their own emotions and can empathize with others. They communicate assertively, resolve conflicts constructively, and maintain healthy boundaries.

b) Healthy Relationships: Flourishing individuals have positive and fulfilling relationships. They surround themselves with supportive and like-minded individuals who uplift them. They invest time and effort into nurturing these connections.

c) Self-Expression: Flourishing individuals give themselves the freedom to express their thoughts, feelings, and creativity. They engage in activities that bring them joy, such as art, music, workouts, or writing. They prioritize self-reflection and personal growth.

graceful mature woman flourishing in dance, feeling well-being

Relational well-being emphasizes your interactions with others and your sense of belonging within a community. It involves building meaningful connections, contributing to society, and experiencing a sense of fulfillment. Here’s how to assess if you’re thriving socially:

a) Social Connections: Flourishing individuals have a strong support network. They have close relationships with family, friends, or community members who provide emotional support and companionship. They engage in social activities and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Introverts will naturally have fewer friendships than extroverts, though those friendships – even if it’s one or two – tend to be deeper. Extrovert or introvert, it’s good to be around people at least once a week and make an effort to relate to others.

b) Community Engagement: Flourishing individuals actively contribute to their communities. They participate in volunteer work, support causes they believe in, and strive to make a positive impact on the world around them.

c) Work-Life Integration: Flourishing individuals find harmony between their personal and professional lives. They have a fulfilling career that aligns with their values and passions. They prioritize work-life integration, setting boundaries, and finding time for hobbies, interests, and leisure activities.

Personal Fulfillment: the Art and Science of Allowing Joy

Flourishing individuals have a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. They understand their values, goals, and aspirations. They find fulfillment in pursuing their passions and making a difference in the world. Here are signs that indicate you’re thriving in terms of purpose and meaning:

a) Clarity of Goals: Flourishing individuals have clear goals and a sense of direction. They have a vision for their lives and actively work towards achieving it. They set meaningful objectives that align with their values.

b) Personal Growth: Flourishing individuals are committed to personal growth and continuous learning. They seek opportunities for self-improvement, whether through education, skill development, or new experiences.

c) Impact and Contribution: Flourishing individuals make a positive impact on others and the world around them. They contribute to causes they care about, share their knowledge and expertise, and help others reach their full potential.

Are You Flourishing? Conclusion on the New Definition of Well-Being

The new definition of well-being encompasses various dimensions, including mental, physical, emotional, and social well-being, as well as purpose and meaning. Check out the video:

Thriving is not just about surviving; it’s about leading a fulfilling and flourishing life.

You can determine if you’re genuinely thriving by assessing these different aspects.

Remember that well-being is a continuous journey, and it requires conscious effort and self-reflection.

Embrace growth opportunities, prioritize self-care, and cultivate positive relationships.

You can thrive in all aspects of your life and enjoy the rewarding experience of true well-being.