Psychological Well being

Psychological Well being – Six dimensions that shape our mental health

Psychological Well-Being

As i read more and more on positive psychology I am faced many a times with this term known as well-being. Well being is a multi-dimensional aspect with various meaning being assigned to it by various people. So as always i decide to look into the meaning that the Webster Dictionary gives to this word, which is “the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous.” Well being is so diverse and an important determinant of our lives. Your career well-being, financial-well-being,physical wee-being are important in determining the kind of life you live the things you hold important in your lives.

Wee-being may be broadly classified into three major categories which are as follows:

  • Psychological Well-being
  • Social Well-being
  • Emotional Well-being

Because these are very diverse in their own sense i will be explaining all in 3 different articles each focusing on one of these three types of well being. In this article i would talk about psychological well-being. Psychological well-being refers to the well being of the Psyche that is our mind. People have often equated life satisfaction with positive well being. However psychological well-being is not so simple. It encompasses a number of differing aspects. Carol Ryff(1989) has often been considered as the pioneer of research on psychological well-being.

After intensive research Ryff suggests that some of the favourable outcomes described by positive psychologists can be integrated into an integrated model of psychological well-being. This model of well-being has been investigated in numerous studies and the findings of the study reveal that all of the following six dimensions are independent though they are correlated constructs of well-being. The six dimensions of psychological well-being are as follow:

Personal Growth

This involves having feelings of continued development and potential, feeling increasingly knowledgeable and effective and being open to new experiences. A person scoring high this dimension would have feelings such as “I think it is important to have new experiences that challenge how i think about myself and the world”, “For me life has been a continuous process of learning, changing and growth”.A person scoring low on this dimension has a sense of self-stagnation, feelings of inability to develop new attitudes or behaviours.


This dimension involves possessing positive attitude towards self, acknowledging and accepting the multiple aspects of life. A person scoring high on this dimension would have thoughts such as “I like most parts of my personality”, “when i look at the story of my life, i feel pleased with how things have turned out so far”. A person who is not self accepting would be dissatisfied with oneself, feel disappointed about many achievements in life.

Purpose in life

This dimension i am sure we are very familiar with . We all have a purpose in life, for some its not clear though or they may not have any purpose in life. People with a purpose in life have goals and a sense of direction in life, for them the past is meaningful and hold beliefs that give purpose to life. Low scorers on this dimension feel directionless have no outlook or beliefs that could give life a meaning.


In simple words autonomy refers to independence. People who are high one this dimension are self-determining, independent and regulated internally and they don’t follow the societal standards blindly and would evaluate themselves by personal standards. People who lack a sense of autonomy are often concerned with the expectations of others, evaluation of others is really important to them. They would easily confirm to societal pressures.

Environmental Mastery

This dimension involves feeling competent and able to manage a complex environment and the ability to choose or create a personally suitable community. A person high on this dimension thinks “In general, I feel I am in charge of the situation in which I live”. A person scoring low on this dimension lacks a sense of control over the external world, they lack a sense of meaning in life.

Positive relations with others

It’s absolutely important that for a person to have high psychological well being they also have a good social support and fulfilling relationships. A person who scores high on this dimension is likely to have warm, satisfying and trusting relationships, they are capable of strong empathy, affection and intimacy. Low scorers are likely to be frustrated in interpersonal relationships, are not willing to make compromises to sustain important ties with others.

Thus its important for all of us to integrate all of these in our lives to the best extent possible, and i hope you are successful at it.

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