Mental health and wellbeing

The term positive mental health is often used interchangeably with the term mental wellbeing. Current research on wellbeing has two distinct perspectives:

  • The hedonic approach, which focuses on happiness and defines wellbeing in terms of pleasure attainment and avoidance of pain;
  • The eudaimonic approach, which focuses on meaning and self-realisation and defines wellbeing in terms of the degree to which a person is fully functioning.

These two views have given rise to different research interests and a body of knowledge that is in some areas divergent and in others complementary.

Adapted from:

Ryan, R. and Deci, E. (2001) ‘On Happiness and Human Potentials: a review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being’ in: Annual Review of Psychology, pp. 52, pp. 141-66

© Matthew Tizzard