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Six Criteria of Well-being as Defined by Scientists

Long before everybody started talking about well-being and prosperity, Professor Carol Ryff had already studied the subject. For 20 years, she had been studying what it really takes for personal wellbeing. She ended up creating one of the first ever systematic models of psychological wellbeing, with her model remaining one of the most scientifically accepted and empirically rigorous models today.
Here are Carol’s six criteria of well-being.
Self Acceptance
High Self Acceptance – You have a positive attitude towards your inner self; therefore admit and recognize multiple aspects of yourself. Embrace the good and bad qualities while feeling positive about your past life.
Low Self Acceptance – You feel inadequate, are disappointed with what has happened in your past life and are bothered about certain personal attributes. You wish that you were different from what you are.
Personal Growth
Strong Personal Growth – You have a sense of progressive development and picture yourself growing constantly. As you expand, you relish new experiences and are always eager to improve your behavior over time.
Weak Personal Growth – You live in stagnation; have no sense of personal improvement or expansion over time. You are bored and have no interest in life and see it difficult to adopt new attitudes and behaviors.
Purpose in Life
Strong Purpose in Life – You have specific goals in life and have a sense of directness. You feel that there is a meaning to your present and past life. You have strong beliefs that gives a purpose to your life and have clear objectives for living.
Weak Purpose in Life – Have no sense of what it means to live. Your goals are few and you do not have a sense of direction. You simply do not see the purpose of your life and do not have outlooks or beliefs that give meaning to life.
Positive Relations With Others
Strong Positive Relations – Your relationship with others is warm, satisfying and trusting. You are concerned about the well-being of others and have strong empathy, intimacy, and affection. Also, you have a good understanding of what it means to give and take.
Weak Relations – Your close and trusting relationships with others are few. You do not easily warm up to strangers, are not open and live in isolation. You are frustrated in having interpersonal relationships and are not willing to make compromises.
Environmental Mastery
High Environmental Mastery – You are competent at managing the environment and are in control of external activities. You utilize the surrounding opportunities well and are able to come up with a healthy context that is suitable for your personal values and needs.
Low Environmental Mastery – You have a problem managing your day to day affairs and unable to change or enhance your surroundings. You are not aware of the surrounding opportunities and have no control over the external world.
Autonomy
High Autonomy – You are independent and are able to say no to social pressures that force you to think and act in a certain way. You regulate your behavior from within and are able to evaluate yourself through personal standards.
Low Autonomy – You are driven by what others expect of you and rely on their judgments to make important decisions. You easily conform to social pressures to act and think in a certain way.

Carol’s model has been under continuous testing and has proven to be sturdy. It is, therefore, right to conclude that adhering to Carol’s model can help you analyze and organize your life and by extension improve your overall well-being.

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