Social and Emotional Well Being – Key factors to a happy life !

Social and Emotional Well Being

I have discussed about Psychological Well being in my previous article. In this article I will be discussing about Social Well being and Emotional Well being. First i discuss about social well being followed by a discussion on emotional well being.

An individual is never separate from his/her surrounding the society in which he she lives. Social wellbeing refers to the ability to deal effectively and adapt and adjust successfully with the environment. The ability to sustain relationships over long durations also suggest social well being.

Social well being takes into account not only the individual characteristics but also the social surroundings of the individual. The possible dimensions of social well being include the following:

  1.  Social Acceptance: Just like self acceptance which is the acceptance of both the good and bas aspects of ones personality, social acceptance is the acceptance of the people in general. Having positive attitudes towards people, acknowledging others and accepting the other people despite others complex and perplexing behaviour. People scoring high on this dimension believe that other people are capable of kindness and do not expect anything in return for their good deeds. they hold favourable views of human nature and feel comfortable with others. People who score low on this dimension believe that people do not care about other peoples problems.
  2. Social Actualisation: Social actualisation is the individuals evaluation of the potential of the society. Socially actualised people care about and believe society is evolving positively. They believe that they are potential beneficiaries of the societal growth. They firmly believe that the society has the potential to grow. An individual who is not socially actualised believes that the society has stopped making progress and hasn’t improved for people like me.
  3. Social Contribution: Social Contribution as the name suggests is the individuals evaluation of whether he is a socially vital member. It refers to the degree to which an individual believes that their contributions are valued by the society and that they lead to welfare of the society. People scoring high on this dimension believe that they have something valuable to give to the world. While a person who scores low on this dimension is likely to have believes such as “I have nothing important to contribute to the society.”
  4. Social Integration: It is the evaluation of an individual of the quality of ones relationship to his or her society and community. It is the extent to which people feel that they share something with their neighbourhood, that the society reflects their beliefs and values.Feeling a part of the community, thinking that they belong and share commonalities with the community. A person scoring high on this dimension feel close to other people in my community, believes that “my community is a source of comfort”. A person scoring low on this dimension is likely to have beliefs such as “I don’t feel i belong to anything I’d call a community.”

Emotional wellbeing consists of perceptions of avowed happiness and satisfaction with life, along with the balance of positive and negative affects. This threefold structure of emotional wellbeing consists of life-satisfaction, positive affect, and the absence of negative affect (Diener and Suh, 1996).

Emotional well being consists of a number of aspects, which are as follows:

  1. Positive Affect: In order to understand what the terms positive and negative affect means its also important to understand what “Affect” means. Affect is a persons immediate physiological response to a stimulus and it is typically based on an underlying sense of arousal. Positive affect refers to ones level of pleasurable engagement with one’s environment. It involves the experience of feelings such as enthusiasm, joy and happiness for life. An individual scoring high on Positive affect is likely to experience higher enthusiasm and energy levels, interest, joy and determination whereas people scoring low on this dimension are likely to experience lethargy and failure.
  1. Negative Affect: It’s a general factor of subjective distress, which includes features such as negative mood states including fear, anxiety, hostility. There are feelings, which suggest that life in undesirable and unpleasant.
  1. Life Satisfaction: while the positive and negative affect dimensions refer to the emotional aspects of emotional well being, Life satisfaction refers to the cognitive judgemental aspect of it. Shin and Johnspn (19’78) define life satisfaction as “a global assessment of a person’s quality of life according to his chosen criteria”. A person scoring high on this dimension is likely to feel a sense of contentment, peace and satisfaction from small discrepancies between wants and needs with accomplishments and attainments. Life satisfaction refers to the overall satisfaction in domains such as work, home, neighborhood, health, intimacy, finances and parenting.
  2. Happiness: When we ask someone what happiness means to them they may come up with a variety of answers, people may identify happiness with a number of things which are likely to be very diverse. However according to positive psychologists happiness is characterized by love, satisfaction, pleasure and joy. Happiness is an important determinant of a persons emotional wellbeing.

Emotional Wellbeing is very important since a person who is not emotionally healthy is likely to be unhealthy even physically. They are likely to suffer from a number of issues such as:

  • Low self esteem 
  • Low Self efficacy
  • Inability to enjoy life fully 
  • Inability to maintain healthy relationships
  • Suffering from health issues such as heart diseases

In order to achieve high levels of emotional well being the person should be encouraged to adopt lifestyle which is healthy and positive such as going for regular exercise, interacting more with people, facing the situation in hand instead of running away from them, avoiding junk food and anxiety foods (Chocolates, chips etc) when suffering from high levels of tension and rather dealing with it, discussing problems with people we can trust.

Keyes (2009) is a researcher who has done extensive research on wellbeing suggests that complete mental health can be conceptualised via combinations of high levels of emotional well-being, psychological wellbeing, and social wellbeing. Individuals with these high levels of wellbeing are described as Flourishing and those with low levels are termed as Languishing. A person scoring high on all three dimensions of well being are likely to have a positive life at school, home and work.

Thus its important that we strive towards achieving all three kinds of wellbeing.

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Only physical well being is not sufficient. Especially in the kind of alienated and rationalised world that we live in, which puts immense pressure on our mental and social capacities, we need these all the more. Well written.

  • Shubhangi Bhatia
    September 22, 2015 10:01 pm

    I really liked your work 🙂

  • Vidushi Aparajita
    September 23, 2015 2:08 am

    Efforts are reflecting in the article.Truly social and emotional well being are the main essence of a happy and nurtured life. 🙂

  • I agree with the article and I appreciate your effort.
    but the sad reality is that people have connected emotional well being and social well being with the accumulation of material wealth. And they can’t seem to make sense out of something emotional, social or spiritual without having a sense of that huge bank balance in their account!

  • well written

  • Nicely work!


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