In literature, different definitions and models of well-being have been proposed, tested, and talked about. You can find one of these models, the P.E.R.M.A. model, in my article about Positive Psychology and the Science of Well-being. In a nutshell, this model suggests that our wellbeing is a function of our positive emotions, engagement, relationships, sense of meaning, and accomplishments. I like this model, but I personally prefer a more holistic model of well-being, based both on western and eastern psychology.
From my point of view, approaching well-being from only a psychological point of view is somewhat limited. Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being play an important role in the maintenance of our psychological health but there are other equally important aspects. Physical well-being and spiritual well-being are two of them. I like to tap into Eastern Psychology because it identifies us as being made of energy (or light) and it describes a model of our human energy field based on seven different layers or bodies.
Next, I will introduce you to each one of these bodies.
The Physical Body
The Physical Body is the first layer of our human energy field. As the name suggests, this layer relates to being physically active, through the practise of exercise, but also to being practical and connected with the material world. It is important to look after our physical body by nourishing it with the right food and by giving it the right amount of rest. When you close your eyes, how does your body feel?
The Emotional Body
The Emotional Body is the second layer and it is where we store how we feel about ourselves. This layer is linked to self-love and self-expression. Working at this level means that we check on how we have been feeling about our body (first layer) but also about who we are as an individual. Do you love yourself? Are you happy on your own?
The Mental Body
The Mental Body is the third layer and it is about the way we think. This level is very much worked in cognitive-behavioural therapy, for instances. The quality of our thinking pattern impacts how we feel and how we behave, so learning to notice the quality of our thoughts and ways to gradually transform them are two important skills to develop when working at this stage.
The Astral Body
The Astral Body is about love for ourselves and others. It is about giving but also receiving love. When we work at this layer, we work aspects related to family, friends, colleagues, animals, or even inanimate objects that are somehow special for us. This layer is often associated with conditional love, while the sixth layer (Celestial Body) is associated with unconditional love.
The Etheric Body
The Etheric Body relates to our personality, identity, and overall energy. When we work at this level, we try to look at the bigger picture, express our truth, and know how do we fit in the world. Are you comfortable with expressing who you truly are?
The Celestial Body
The Celestial Body is about the extent to which you love not only those who are close to you but also more distant from you. When we work at this level, we work at how we appreciate others and our relationship with them. This layer is about understanding and dealing with others in a non-judgmental way.
The Divine Body
The Divine Body represents our feeling of being one with the Universe. When we work at this level, we work our connection with something that is “bigger” than us and that allows us to transcend as human beings.