Wellbeing & How to Improve It - Mental Fitness: Converge International - Page 11



CAN WELLBEING IMPROVE?
The good news is that individuals do have some influence over their own levels
of wellbeing through the activities they undertake.
There have been many attempts to show which activities
lead to increased wellbeing, including very carefully
designed controlled experiments. Many
activities offer temporary improvement while
the interventions are occurring, as even “setpoint” theory would predict. But while some
effects do not persist, a number of activities
do appear to lead to enhanced wellbeing that
is sustained over a longer time period.
This longer-term effect may well happen
because the activities trigger an “upward
spiral of greater wellbeing”.15
This is in line with Broaden-and-Build theory,
predicting that positive emotions equip
individuals with the cognitive resources to
discover new ideas and actions.16 This in turn,
releases dopamine in the brain, continuing the
likelihood an individual will further engage in
activities that enhance their wellbeing. See
Figure 3.
As seen in Figure 2, while personality and
other very stable long-term factors defines a
range in which wellbeing will lie most of the
time, individual activities to improve wellbeing
can still see wellbeing shift from lower in this
range to higher in this range.
Do a “wellbeing”
activity
Incentive to continue
with the activity
Leads to positive
emotions
Dopamine released
in the brain
More brain space to
entertain new ideas
and take new action
Figure 3 Upward spiral of wellbeing
WELLBEING AND HOW TO IMPROVE IT | A WHITE PAPER FROM CONVERGE INTERNATIONAL | 2020
11

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