The Science of Wellbeing

The Science of Wellbeing

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Lecture Theatre

Department of Psychology

Downing Site, Downing Street



United Kingdom

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Psychological well-being is about the experience of life going well. It is a combination of feeling good and functioning effectively. A high level of well-being is associated with positive health and good relationships, with learning and capability. However, these are merely a by-product. The real reason well-being matters is that well-being is an end in itself – an ultimate good.

This presentation describes a recent approach to defining and measuring well-being, and new data on the drivers of well-being across Europe. Interventions to increase well-being are rapidly gaining popularity, and I will argue that underlying the many approaches are the skills of awareness, attention, self-regulation, and the way we relate to ourselves and others. Two techniques which explicitly develop these seminal skills are mindfulness and compassion. Evidence for the wide-ranging benefits of these approaches will be presented, using data from high quality studies from behavioral science and neuroscience.

With Professor Felicia Huppert