Wellbeing & How to Improve It - Mental Fitness: Converge International - Page 18



WHAT ROLE DO
CIRCUMSTANCES
(OR LIFE EVENTS) PLAY
IN WELLBEING?
The links between circumstances and wellbeing are
likely to be bi-directional. Life events affect wellbeing,
but wellbeing also influences the ability for certain life
events to arise. Thus, for example, people with lower
wellbeing might make poor choices, such as gambling
that lead to more financial stress. If this is true, even
in a limited sense, then we would expect to see both
vicious cycles occurring for individuals where once
things are bad, they become even worse and also
virtuous cycles where, good things lead to higher
wellbeing and things continue to spiral upwards. And
this, in fact, is seen as we have previously noted in
Figure 3.
However, life events play a surprisingly small role in
general in wellbeing. They are much less influential
on wellbeing levels than personality and even
less than activities that an individual chooses to
undertake. The common picture of the person who
is unhappy because many bad things have happened
to them, and the person who is happy because life
has treated them well is a myth, not supported by
evidence. Wellbeing seems much more related to the
attitude and choices someone brings to bear on their
circumstances. Nevertheless, the persistence of this
myth is interesting and is demonstrated by the number
of people who continue to buy lottery tickets despite
the low probability of winning or being any better off,
in the unlikelihood they do win.
18
WELLBEING AND HOW TO IMPROVE IT | A WHITE PAPER FROM CONVERGE INTERNATIONAL | 2020

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