• Shared Definition of Wellness:


    At present we are working toward a shared definition of Wellness.  We have been talking about aspects of wellness which may be expressed in different ways, such as:


    Body:   Physical

    Mind:   Social, Emotional, Positive

    Spirit:   Optimistic, Flourishing, Thriving


    Working Definitions:




    Wellness is the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. ... an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases. www.dictionary.com/browse/wellness

    Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential. Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment. Wellness is positive and affirming. National Wellness Institute

    Well-Being: Basic Definition


    A good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity; welfare. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/wellbeing


    Well-Being: Better Definition


    Well-being generally includes global judgments of life satisfaction and feelings ranging from depression to joy…There is no consensus around a single definition of well-being, but there is general agreement that at minimum, well-being includes the presence of positive emotions and moods (e.g., contentment, happiness), the absence of negative emotions (e.g., depression, anxiety), satisfaction with life, fulfillment and positive functioning. In simple terms, well-being can be described as judging life positively and feeling good. CDC Definition of Well-Being



    Positive Psychology Definition:


    Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organizations to thrive (Gable & Haidt, 2005, Sheldon & King, 2001).


    Positive Psychology is grounded in the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within them, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play (Positive Psychology Center, 2016).


    Well-Being Theory in Positive Psychology:


    The goal of Positive Psychology is to promote the sense of well-being that comes from human flourishing. Well-Being is a construct comprised of five measurable elements.   Those five elements, as defined by Seligman, comprise the acronym PERMA:


    1.Positive Emotion: These are the emotions that we feel that could be defined as 'positive'; Happiness, Joy, and Life Satisfaction would all be considered aspects of positive emotion. 2.Engagement: The concept of 'flow' would be a perfect example of engagement. 3.Relationships: More and more evidence is coming out everyday showing how our relationships, and our social networks affect our well-being. 4.Meaning and Purpose: Being connected to something greater than oneself; contributing to a greater good. 5.Accomplishment: Some people achieve goals simply for the satisfaction that they get from completing the goal.


    In order to be classified as an element of well-being theory, each element must have three properties: (1) It contributes to well-being (2) Many people pursue it for its own sake, not merely to get any of the other elements (3) It is defined and measured independently of the other elements.


    The aim of positive psychology and well-being theory is NOT to simply make you hedonistically content.  More importantly, positive psychology seeks to help individuals achieve a eudaimonic type of well-being that comes from actualizing one’s capabilities to live a worthy life of meaning and contribution. Positive psychology is interested in taking what it has learned about the elements that contribute to well-being and focusing on how to build upon and improve each element. Positive interventions that draw on people's individual strengths, and focus on broadening and building have also proven to be very effective in staving off the negative effects of negative life events, trauma, and depression.



    Student Well-Being: Defined


    Student well-being is strongly linked to learning. A student’s level of well-being at school is indicated by their satisfaction with life at school, their engagement in learning, and their social-emotional behavior. It is enhanced when schools in partnerships adopt evidence-informed practices with families and the community. Optimal student well-being is a sustainable state, characterized by predominantly positive feelings and attitude, positive relationships in school, resilience, self-optimisation and a high level of satisfaction with learning experiences (Noble, T. & Wyatt, T. 2008). Report to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Scoping study into approaches to student well-being. Australian Catholic University (PRN18219). http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/wellbeing/Documents/ScopingStudy.pdf.  


    Australian Scoping Study on Student Wellbeing



    Positive Education: Defined


    An umbrella term used to describe empirically validated interventions and programs from positive psychology that have impact on student well-being.


    “Positive education is defined as education for both traditional skills and for happiness. The high prevalence worldwide of depression among young people, the small rise in life satisfaction, and the synergy between learning and positive emotion all argue that the skills for happiness should be taught in school. There is substantial evidence from well controlled studies that skills that increase resilience, positive emotion, engagement and meaning can be taught to schoolchildren.”  (Seligman, M.E.P., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K. & Linkins, M. (2009). Oxford Review of Education, 35, 293-311. Doi:10.1080/03054980902934563


    Positive Education is “the development of educational environments that enable the learner to engage in established curricula in addition to knowledge and skills to develop their own and others’ well-being.” (Oades, Robinson, Green, & Spence, 2011, Pg 432, Paragraph 1)

    Model of How Five Noncognitive Factors Affect Academic Performance   

    Social-Cultural Context