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Seeing the forest and not just the trees - happiness versus well-being

Happiness and well-being are related but distinctly different concepts:

Happiness is that spark which brightens a particular moment in your life. It is a momentary emotional state of positive emotion. It’s that feeling of joy you get when you hit ‘upload’ on an important project, or the warmth of spending time with friends, or the simple pleasure of a delicious meal. It’s often linked with other positive emotions such as contentment, excitement and pleasure. It's about experiencing moments of delight and satisfaction in life.

However, happiness is also subjective and short-term. What brings happiness to one person may not have the same effect on another. It's all about feeling good in the here and now.

On the other hand, well-being is a broader and more holistic concept. It's like zooming out from that momentary spark to look at the bigger picture of your life. Well-being encompasses not only your emotional state but also your physical and mental health, your sense of purpose, your relationships and overall life satisfaction.

Well-being takes a more long-term perspective. It looks at an individual's overall quality of life and their ability to thrive over an extended period. It is often associated with a sense of stability and balance in life. It involves feeling fulfilled and content with your life as a whole.

As distinct from happiness, well-being can help increase your ability to cope with adversity and bounce back from challenges. It's possible to maintain a sense of well-being even during difficult times, whereas happiness can be quickly quashed.

So while those moments that spark joy or happiness are like bright starts in our lives, it’s the big picture - the pursuit of balance, and the quest for overall well-being which can truly lead to a happy and fulfilling life.

Funded by the State Government of Victoria, Business Victoria, Mental Wellbeing of Businesses Grant Round 2.

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