Eudaimonic Well-Being —

“Is happiness enough for a good life? This question is becoming increasingly prominent in positive psychology. Is feeling good an adequate measure of someone’s quality of life? Do we really know what it means to be subjectively well when we assess someone’s subjective well-being?

Problems with existing approaches to happiness

Many researchers believe we don’t, saying that the current definition of well-being came about almost accidentally: first of all, researchers wanted to develop well-being questionnaires (because they needed to evaluate various interventions), then they derived the definition of well-being from these questionnaires, without paying much attention to whether they actually captured the richness of human wellness and happiness.

It is probably true to say that contemporary literature on well-being largely ignores the contributions of humanistic and existential thinkers like Maslow, Rogers, Jung and Allport. It also doesn’t pay much attention to the complexity of philosophical conceptions of happiness, even though philosophy has dealt with this subject since long before psychology even existed.

Can someone be truly fulfilled without knowing what he or she is living for, what the point is, the meaning of one’s existence? Is it possible to be truly well without moving a finger to change something in oneself, without growing and developing as a person? This is what is missing from the current mainstream theories of well-being - the notions of growth, self-actualisation and meaning.

The current theories of well-being seem to give a one-sided, rather bare picture of well-being. In fact, what they do seem to cover quite well is the notion of hedonism - striving for maximisation of pleasure (positive affect) and minimisation of pain (negative affect). This hedonic view can be traced to Aristippus, a Greek philosopher who believed that the goal of life is to experience maximum pleasure, and later on to Utilitarian philosophers.

An alternative to hedonic happiness

Recently, another approach to a good life has risen out of the historical and philosophical debris - the idea of eudaimonic well-being. Aristotle was the originator of the concept of eudaimonia (from daimon - true nature). He deemed happiness to be a vulgar idea, stressing that not all desires are worth pursuing as, even though some of them may yield pleasure, they would not produce wellness. Aristotle thought that true happiness is found by leading a virtuous life and doing what is worth doing. He argued that realising human potential is the ultimate human goal. This idea was further developed in history by prominent thinkers, such as Stoics, who stressed the value of self-discipline, and John Locke, who argued that happiness is pursued through prudence….”

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The world that lies just beneath you

Take a look around you, take a real good look at everything that surrounds you in life. It’s amazing; everything the world has to offer. Spectacular sights, infinite knowledge, several amazing forms of art, entertainment, people, and a massive array of sports hobbies or activities. I know I’m probably forgetting tons of things, but take a second to really considers these very broad categories I’ve listed. To me it’s overwhelming, theirs so much to do and see and hear that one lifetime isn’t enough. Yet many people do not take advantage of this. Everyday should be looked at as a new day to gain knowledge, experiences, and a broader perspective on anything. Only recently have I really viewed everyday as such, and it is amazing. I think everyone could benefit from a life view of this sort, and I encourage you all to embrace it. Open your mind to the world and it will not disappoint. It truly is fulfilling to digress from the norm and add something different into your life it will make you love life that much more. I’ve taken a hold of this concept and have ambitiously ran with it for awhile now and it already feels life changing. Life changing enough to tell anyone and everyone who is willing to listen to me. I feel that by truly embracing almost everything life hands you and surrounds you with you can achieve this ineffable level of happiness. I can genuinely say that at this point in my life I am happier and feel better than I ever have before. I’m sure this methodology already exist(At least it should), however for me it’s self discovered, all I can say is just explore and uncover all aspects of life that are around you. You will be pleasantly surprised at how many amazing relics lie just under your nose.

EDIT: This is somewhat of a very old methodology referred to as living a ‘eudaimonic’ type lifestyle. Eudaimonic is a Greek work that basically means happiness.

But if we were to have the insolence not to meekly assent to star-crossed fate, but to become dauntless authors of our destinies again—if we were to seize the critical moment, clutch kairos by the scruff of the neck and take a eudaimonic quantum leap—how would we begin? Here’s the concrete recipe I’ve offered. That we stop thinking of the dismal science as a negative paradigm centered on removing pathology, and start thinking of it as a positive paradigm centered on lifting the summit of optimal functioning to higher and higher heights. That nations complement industrial-age GDP—an incomplete statement of gross income—with a national balance sheet, a more meaningful, accurate, and valid measure with which to optimize for real human prosperity; that the economy be optimized for a higher …

“Na língua falada pelos antigos gregos, muitas palavras eram utilizadas para definir as várias experiências humanas associadas à felicidade. A maioria estava associada à idéia de prosperidade (olbos) e sorte (tyche).

Contudo, a palavra principal para a vivência da felicidade no grego antigo é eudaimonia.

Eudaimon é o adjetivo para “feliz”.

A análise do significado dessas palavras associadas à felicidade nos revelam muito sobre o que os antigos gregos pensavam sobre o ser feliz. Na etimologia, eudaimonia significa “(eu) bem disposto; (daimon) que tem um poder divino”.

Assim, pode-se ver que no pensamento grego antigo a felicidade é um dom. Usufruir dos daimones – poderes divinos – é condição essencial para que alguém seja feliz. À felicidade humana, portanto, é conferida uma força espiritual além do controle dos homens, uma dádiva que depende unicamente dos humores dos deuses. No pensamento grego, um homem feliz (eudaimon) era aquele favorecido por um bom daimon, o mesmo que ter sorte. Logo, a eudaimonia requeria a boa sorte.

No entanto, a felicidade, por ser uma concessão dos deuses, era débil, frágil, transitória…pois, ao ser dada aos homens, tornava-se suscetível aos contratempos próprios da vulnerabilidade humana, isto é, às vicissitudes do tempo e à ação dos elementos.

Nesse sentido, o significado original da palavra eudaimonia carrega consigo uma contradição: ao mesmo tempo em que a felicidade é um dom, sua manutenção depende da vida que o feliz vive! Essa aparente ambigüidade da felicidade, prenunciada pela língua grega, é confirmada pelas pesquisas mais recentes sobre o tema.

Os atuais estudos sobre a Psicologia da Felicidade têm demonstrado que parte da nossa condição de felizes é inata, uma predisposição genética que nos confere maior ou menor propensão para experienciar emoções positivas. Ou seja, um dom! A outra parte dessa condição diz respeito aos eventos de vida que influenciam nossa inserção no mundo.

Mas, tanto a parcela inata quanto a construída da felicidade podem ser, igualmente, transformadas por meio das escolhas conscientes que fazemos. Hoje sabemos que o cérebro aprende continuamente, se reestrutura e redefine nossa percepção do mundo e de nós mesmos. Esse processo ininterrupto de adaptação é o que nos permite (re)elaborar nossas metas e (re)significar nossas escolhas buscando, com isso, a realização das nossas potencialidades.

O que está de acordo com o conceito Aristotélico deeudaimonia. Para Aristóteles, a eudaimonia significa atingir o potencial pleno de realização de cada um. Segundo Aristóteles, a felicidade é a meta da vida humana, tudo o que fazemos tem como motivo principal a busca da eudaimonia. Para ele, as atitudes amigáveis e a boa vontade que ofertamos a uma pessoa, não tem por objetivo agradar a essa pessoa mas, sim, promover a nossa própria eudaimonia.

Portanto, mais do que um sentimento, a felicidade aristotélica está relacionada com o que uma pessoa faz de si e de sua vida, sendo uma expressão da virtude, a consequência natural de se fazer o que vale a pena ser feito.”
Positive affect, psychological well-being, and good sleep. - PubMed - NCBI
J Psychosom Res. 2008 Apr;64(4):409-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2007.11.008. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
By Steptoe A , et al.


To discover whether positive affect and purpose in life (eudaimonic well-being) are associated with good sleep independently of health problems and socioeconomic status, and to evaluate their role in mediating the influence of psychosocial risk factors on poor sleep.


A cross-sectional study was carried out with 736 men and women aged 58-72 years, with positive affect assessed by aggregating ecological momentary samples. Sleep problems were assessed with the Jenkins Sleep Problems Scale, and psychosocial risk factors were measured by standardized questionnaires.


Both positive affect and eudaimonic well-being were inversely associated with sleep problems after adjustment for age, gender, household income, and self-rated health (P<.001). Negative psychosocial factors including financial strain, social isolation, low emotional support, negative social interactions, and psychological distress were also related to reported sleep problems. The strength of these associations was reduced by 20-73% when positive affect and eudaimonic well-being were taken into account, suggesting that effects were partly mediated by positive psychological states.


These results suggest that both positive affect and eudaimonic well-being are directly associated with good sleep and may buffer the impact of psychosocial risk factors. The relationships are likely to be bidirectional, with disturbed sleep engendering lower positive affect and reduced psychological well-being, and positive psychological states promoting better sleep.

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Free Will