What can continental philosophy tell us about wellbeing?

The road to emancipation

At first sight, the connection between philosophy and wellbeing might appear tenuous at best.  After all, isn’t philosophy all just arid logic and the cold gaze of reason?  Actually, no – it’s so much more than that [1].  We’ve previously seen how ethics and epistemology – the philosophy of knowledge – can enhance wellbeing.  And in this article, I’ll argue that the centuries-old tradition of continental philosophy offers us all a path towards wellbeing. Continue reading “What can continental philosophy tell us about wellbeing?”

With neuroplasticity, the power of change is at our fingertips

Our ability to adapt and change is rooted in the brain’s neuroplasticity – and therein lies the power of transformative self-renewal

Our subjective sense of wellbeing is affected by a whole range of factors, from the quality of our interpersonal relationships to the regulation of internal bodily processes, our sense of place in the world and the things we do that give us a sense of meaning and purpose.  Childhood experiences have a hugely influential role in how this all plays out, and it can often feel as though things are set in stone by the time we hit adulthood.  The reality is that neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to grow, adapt and change – gives us all the capacity to grow, adapt and develop across the span of our lives. And this means we can grow beyond the developmental harms embodied in our neural circuitry and enjoy transformative self-renewal, whatever our age. Continue reading “With neuroplasticity, the power of change is at our fingertips”

Wellbeing and the power of relationships

Understanding how we grow and develop highlights the conditions that promote wellbeing – and what to do when things go wrong.

When you stop and think about it, human beings are incredible. We continue to grow, adapt, and develop from infancy through to old age – across the whole span of our lives. And despite the claim that there’s no such thing as society, we’re profoundly social creatures. Our lives are influenced and shaped – from the moment we’re born until the moment we die – by our relationships with other people and by the social context we’re born into.  As we learn more about how humans grow and develop, from childhood into adolescence and beyond, we’re gaining a better understanding of the conditions that allow us to flourish and the factors that impair our wellbeing. And the best thing?  We have the power to heal and transform ourselves. Continue reading “Wellbeing and the power of relationships”

Is it time to rethink wellbeing? Part II

Introducing the Wellbeing Calculus

Depression and anxiety are rampant, despite decades of positive thinking and the active promotion of happiness. That’s a fact. And here’s another – we’re more miserable and anxious now than we’ve ever been before. But if mainstream approaches to wellbeing aren’t helping, what are we to do? It’s simple. We need to reconsider how we think about wellbeing. Continue reading “Is it time to rethink wellbeing? Part II”

Is it time to rethink wellbeing? Pt I

Positivity’s over-rated and happiness is just too thin – and there’s something wrong in the state of wellbeing

Wellbeing is a cultural touchstone. Yet, despite decades of positive thinking and the active promotion of happiness, depression and anxiety are at unprecedented levels. With the failure of the wellbeing industry’s focus on happiness and positivity, it’s time to rethink what we mean by wellbeing. In part two of this article, I’ll introduce a new model of wellbeing. But, first, I want to explain why positivity is overrated and happiness is too thin a foundation for wellbeing. Continue reading “Is it time to rethink wellbeing? Pt I”