Carol Ryff developed the Six-Factor Model of Psychological Well-Being. In it, she describes that there are six different factors required to help an individual achieve a state of contentment, happiness, and psychological well-being.
Your psychological well-being includes a feeling of meaning, personal growth, autonomy, personal mastery, and positive, personal relationships. To achieve a state of psychological well-being, you must be able to balance the challenge and rewards of life.
What are the six factors?
A high autonomy score would suggest that you are independent and adept at regulating your behavior without societal pressure. If you could sum autonomy up with one statement it would be something like I have confidence in the opinion I hold, even though the general consensus may disagree.
What does self-acceptance look like? It’s having a positive attitude about yourself. If you can utter a statement such as I like my body, or at least most of it, then you’re in a good position in terms of self-acceptance.
More to the point, environmental mastery. Do you effectively use the opportunities presented to you? Do you manage your daily life and create opportunities and situations that benefit your personal needs? This is a bit more challenging to sum up in a statement, but it boils down to feeling happy with your life situation or circumstances.
Are you a goal-oriented person? Do you have values and convictions that you hold firm to? If you believe in what you do, if you feel as though you have a cause, then you are in good shape on the purpose front.
5. Personal Growth
Are you constantly looking to grow? Do you want to develop through new experiences? Do you notice when your behavior improves over time? If you think new experiences are important to challenge your worldview and contribute to personal growth, then you’re doing well.
6. Positive Relationships
Do you have many close relationships? Our ability to forge meaningful relationships that revolve around reciprocal affection, empathy, and intimacy is so important to our overall health and well-being. If you are certain that people would describe you as generous with your time, affection, and attention, then your psychological well-being is in good shape.
The Ryff Scale invites respondents to complete two forms and rate statements based on a scale. The idea behind it is your responses to them give you a good indication as to where your psychological well-being lies.
Contributing Factors to Well-Being
All types of factors contribute to positive psychological well-being. A happy romantic relationship, meaningful friendships, and job satisfaction. Positivity can also be helpful, even if you are unrealistically optimistic at points. That type of attitude is what helps you navigate criticism and negative feedback.
Likewise, there are negative contributing factors you must contend with as well. Those factors include unhealthy and unhappy romantic relationships, toxic friendships and family dynamics, and an unhealthy work environment.
Beyond those, though, traumatic experiences in childhood can have a major determining factor in your psychological well-being as an adult. Those early experiences can have a damaging effect on children’s resilience that stretches well into adulthood.
According to Ryff’s model, someone who strives for financial success rather than intimacy is likely to score lower on the model. If you want to attain true psychological well-being, then you will build your life to strive for intrinsic aspirations such as meaningful relationships, satisfying work, and personal growth and development.
So, what is it that drives you? Where do your priorities lie? And, more importantly, if you sat down to complete the Ryff Scale forms (https://sparqtools.org/mobility-measure/psychological-wellbeing-scale/), where would your result lie?