We all want to have the best sense of well-being that we can. Nobody says they want poorer well-being.
But each of us has our own collection of personality traits. Some of us are more optimistic. Others are more eager. Some are pessimistic.
Do these traits impact your sense of well-being? You bet they do.
If you don’t naturally possess the personality traits associated with an increased sense of well-being, it doesn’t mean that you’re doomed. Read on for more.
How Do We Define Well-Being?
“Well-being” is one of those terms that has some commonly accepted definitions, but is still subjective. You may define well-being as having more sex, getting enough sleep, or liking your job. But a study that correlated personality traits to increased sense of well-being looked at 11 dimensions of well-being in total.
Those 11 dimensions include the following:
- High occurrence and intensity of positive moods and emotions
- Low occurrence and intensity of negative moods and emotions
- An overall feeling of satisfaction with life circumstances
- Independence and ability to fight social pressures
- Ability to control your surroundings to meet your individual goals
- Personal growth and development, rather than fixed achievement
- Having warm, trusting relationships with others
- Having positive feelings and attitudes toward yourself
- Feeling like your life has a sense of purpose in service of something greater than yourself
- Being absorbed and involved in your community and activities
- A feeling of achievement and progress toward reaching personal goals; a feeling of competence
We can sum it all up by saying that your sense of well-being is a state in which you feel happy more often than you feel upset. You feel like you have control over your life and have found a balance between pursuing your own goals and maintaining good relationships with others.
How Your Personality Traits Lead to an Increased Sense of Well-Being
We know that the 11 dimensions listed above play a part in determining your well-being. But the truth of the issue goes much deeper than that.
Five individual personality traits have the greatest impact on your outlook on life. The personality traits most likely to be seen along with an increased sense of well-being include the following:
- Enthusiasm. Everyone loves to be around someone who’s enthusiastic and easily excited. Why? Because these people have a contagious energy. They’re bubbly, friendly, express their emotions, and enjoy life. It’s fun just to be around them.
- Low withdrawal. In other words, they don’t retreat into a corner when things go badly. Their high-withdrawal counterparts are easily discouraged by setbacks, which makes them more likely to give up. Not surprisingly, giving up often leads to depression and anxiety—the opposite of well-being.
- Industriousness. Your grandma might have called this trait “grit” or “moxie.” When you’ve got it, you work hard and don’t give up. Your self-discipline and passion for succeeding encourage you to get up and keep on trying.
- Compassion. Well-being isn’t built on taking advantage of others. Even if you could be more successful by stepping on other people, you care about them too much to do so. In the long run, acting with compassion gives you a sense of control over your own life. You can let others in because you know there’s enough room for many winners.
- Intellectual curiosity. Haven’t you heard? Your brain will stay sharper well into old age if you keep it active. Being curious about the world around you is associated with a lot of great traits, like autonomy, personal growth, and accomplishment. Stay curious—stay happy.
Bringing It All Together
If you’ve read through this list and feel like you’re too much of a natural pessimist to have a strong sense of well-being, don’t despair. Although many of these traits are present from childhood, they’re also changeable. You can cultivate greater optimism and enthusiasm.
But if you’re doubtful you can change—or maybe don’t want to—you can still reap some of the benefits. Not all the personality traits associated with increased well-being are for bubbly extroverts. As an example, intellectual curiosity and industriousness can be associated with more serious individuals.
There’s more than one path to better well-being. Go out and find yours!