What is Well-Being?

Well-being is a subjective concept –  we are the judges of our own well-being but, it seems to be the evaluation of your life, including your emotional reactions to personal or general events, your moods and your judgments about the satisfaction and fulfillment in various areas of your life, such as marriage, work, income, and others.  Well-being research has found that negative affect states like anxiety, stress, or depression are the opposites of happiness, excitement, or engagement. This idea is supported by neuroimaging studies of the brain that show different areas of activation when the subject experiences different emotional reactions.

To enhance our sense of well-being, we want to reduce anxiety, stress and depression and increase excitement and engagement. I always think of happiness as a byproduct of other behavior and activity rather than as a direct goal.

What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide to Answering Client’s Questions with Charles Waehler, Ph.D., was published by John Wiley & Sons in May, 2011.  It is a friendly book designed to reduce the anxiety of early career therapists who may feel apprehensive about answering clients’ questions.  You can read more about it on my blog and purchase it on

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