The Creative Life is full of new possibilities, discoveries, exploration, experimentation, self-expression, and invention. It’s a habit, a way of being, a style of existing. But is the Creative Life full of well-being? Depends on how you define well-being.
In recent years, psychologists have taken a deeper look at well-being. The traditional approach to well-being focuses on hedonic pleasures and positive emotions. However, while positive emotions often accompany happiness, the mere experience of positive emotions is not necessarily an indicator of happiness, and the presence of negative emotions doesn’t necessarily decrease one’s well-being. This deeper approach to well-being, often described as “eudaimonic well-being”, focuses on living life in a full and deeply satisfying way.
What are the dimensions of eudaimonic well-being? Psychologist Carol Ryff makes the case for no less than six dimensions of eudaimonia:
Autonomy (“I have confidence in my opinions, even if they are contrary to the general consensus“)
Environmental mastery (“I am quite good at managing the many responsibilities of my daily life”)
Personal growth (“I think it is important to have new experiences that challenge how you think about yourself and the world”)
Positive relations with others (“People would describe me as a giving person, willing to share my time with others”)
Purpose in life (“Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them”)
Self-acceptance (“I like most aspects of my life”)