Home Affirmations What’s a Psychologically Wealthy Life? – Constructive Psychology Information

What’s a Psychologically Wealthy Life? – Constructive Psychology Information

What’s a Psychologically Wealthy Life? – Constructive Psychology Information


How does journey match into a superb life?

One of many joys of the Worldwide Constructive Psychology Affiliation (IPPA) World Congress is assembly folks whose experiences and factors of view are very completely different from my very own, folks coming from all around the world to share time and knowledge.

For an excessive case, I met Martin Frey, a person who has lived a lifetime of excessive journey, very completely different from the stay-at-home years I’ve skilled following COVID.  Martin is a world traveler who has climbed the 7 peaks and sailed the 7 seas.  How does his seek for excessive challenges relate to his well-being? What does that imply for me?

Journey will not be all the time a supply of optimistic emotion.  The truth is, essentially the most memorable adventures contain moments of uncertainty and problem that may be extremely disagreeable on the time. 

Swan on its nest

My husband and I took a visit to southern England a few years in the past.  As an alternative of using one bus well beyond our vacation spot and one other bus again on a special highway, we obtained off the primary bus between cities to stroll what gave the impression to be on to the 600-year-old Abbotsbury swannery. We thought erroneously that we may learn the general public proper of method footpath markings on our map. By the point we realized we have been misplaced and trespassing, it had began to rain closely. I vividly bear in mind discovering a hoop of standing stones that was not marked on the map.  The expertise of being misplaced within the tall grass on a farmer’s fields left a robust impression behind, far more vivid than different extra nice walks.

Journey will not be essentially significant.  In what method did our journey throughout fields or Martin’s ascent of Mount Everest contribute to the better good?  

Enter an Extra Side of Effectively-being

Since Aristotle, folks have talked about two sorts of well-being:  hedonic which means happiness and eudaimonic which means significant. If journey doesn’t carry speedy happiness and isn’t essentially significant, can it’s a part of a well-lived life?

Dr. Shigehiro Oishi

That’s the place Shigehiro Oishi’s work is available in.  Through the convention, Dr. Oishi gave a keynote on what he considers a uncared for facet of well-being: residing a psychologically wealthy life.  He illustrated his idea with tales about folks residing extremely adventurous lives and others experiencing moments of ineffable magnificence.  Exploring psychological richness has been the middle of his analysis for a number of years.

What’s a psychologically wealthy life?

Psychologically wealthy lives are attention-grabbing, eventful, and infrequently dramatic.  They contain large modifications in perspective and ongoing studying.  Destructive feelings that are inclined to lower happiness and which means typically add to psychological richness. The expertise of being misplaced and drenched made me assume in another way about property rights and maybe made me extra tolerant of people that arrive someplace wanting very bedraggled. The expertise has enhanced my sense of non-public company.  I bear in mind it with a way of, “Sure, I can deal with issues going flawed.”

How is the psychological richness of a life studied?

Oishi and workforce created a 17-element questionnaire that they’ve used to discover the diploma to which an individual experiences a psychologically wealthy life. Listed here are a couple of of the questions from his survey:

  • I’ve lots of private tales to inform others.

  • On my deathbed, I’m more likely to say “I had an attention-grabbing life.”

  • My life would make a superb novel or film.

In research utilizing this questionnaire throughout very completely different populations, Oishi and workforce discovered that psychological richness is expounded to happiness and which means, however it’s nonetheless distinct and has completely different predictors. The predictors of psychological richness are openness to expertise, extraversion, and decrease ranges of neuroticism. A nontrivial portion of the folks they studied would select a psychologically wealthy life even on the expense of happiness and which means.  In Oishi’s view, a lifetime of psychologically wealthy experiences results in knowledge.

In different research, Dr. Oishi had researchers code obituaries within the New York Instances and different papers.  They detected happiness based mostly on phrases like comfortable, safe, snug, and nice. They detected which means based mostly on phrases like fulfilling, sense of function, and devotion.  They detected psychological richness based mostly on phrases like attention-grabbing, eventful, and dramatic.  In these research, psychological richness and happiness have been negatively correlated:  the extra psychologically wealthy phrases, the less happiness phrases confirmed up within the obituary.  Which means and psychological richness weren’t correlated by some means.

Can a life be psychologically wealthy with out being adventurous?

Sure.  There are a lot of methods to expertise modifications in perspective that don’t contain journey and dealing with private hazard.  Dr. Oishi talked about research overseas, studying literary fiction, and listening to another person inform tales.

Taking Inventory

I don’t really feel like a very courageous or adventurous individual, however I hearken to the tales of mates and kin and infrequently have my perspective modified.  Listed here are some examples.

My mom traveled all around the world with a superb pal who wrote down their adventures. How have been two little outdated women handled in several cultures in Mongolia, Peru, Afghanistan, Australia, and Botswana?  In a single city in Syria, a complete cavalcade of males led them to their lodge when my mom’s pal obtained out of the automobile to ask for instructions.

I’ve interviewed my cousins about their lives rising up on a ranch in southern Idaho, childhood experiences very completely different from my very own. Think about a 5-year-old lady often getting on a horse within the morning with a packed lunch and using round by herself till the supper bell rang.

The Ocelot

Sue Hacking, one in all my faculty roommates, has lived on her catamaran Ocelot together with her household for greater than 20 years, touring many of the 7 seas.  After I hear from her, I study avoiding pirates and surviving harsh climate. I additionally observe her curiosity in the way in which completely different folks dwell.
Throughout COVID, her tales of lock down concerned life in dock within the Philippines. I drove 15 miles to get my first Moderna vaccine. Sue and her husband traveled by prepare and airplane to the opposite finish of the Philippines to get theirs.

Ocelot in Tonga, Sue in cockpit

It helps my creativeness that I spent 10 days on Ocelot again in 2004 close to Bora Bora. My go to was largely nice and calm. Snorkeling was new to me.

Sue’s most up-to-date journey concerned driving a van down the west coast of South America to Patagonia.  On the way in which again, the van broke down.  They discovered a farm the place they may keep and work for the three months it took for elements to reach. They’re solely simply again on the highway.

I plan to hearken to tales like these much more intently. What a chance to have a psychologically wealthy life vicariously.

I additionally notice that journey can imply greater than the bodily challenges of touring, climbing mountains, and crusing seas. A number of years in the past, I had an sudden dialog within the Nationwide Museum of African-American Historical past and Tradition that ranks as one in all my life adventures.

Lastly, my husband and I are adventurous readers, letting our curiosity carry us to matters starting from particle physics and developmental biology to historical historical past and geography. Certainly mental exploration is one other pathway to psychological richness.

Need Extra?

I’m attending an occasion on the finish of October at which Dr. Oishi shall be a plenary speaker. In case you put up your questions within the feedback, I’ll attempt to get them answered.


Oishi, S., Choi, H., Buttrick, N. et al (2019).  The psychologically wealthy life questionnaire.  Journal of Analysis in Character, 81, 257-270.

Oishi, S. & Westgate, E. (2021).  A psychologically wealthy life:  Past which means and happiness.  Psychological Evaluation, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rev0000317

For extra about Oishi’s work, go to web site for the Oishi Lab.

Hacking, Sue & Jon. The Hacking Household: Cruising the world on s/v Ocelot. “We’ve been on this journey since 2001, crusing from the Caribbean by the Panama Canal, throughout the South Pacific and the Indian Ocea to Africa, then again to Asia and the South Pacific. There’s a lot world to see!” The location has cruising info for sailors, footage and identification of underwater life, and tales of their numerous journeys written as they went alongside. My journey with them begins right here.

Britton, Okay. H. (2020). Black lives matter. What can I do about it? LinkedIn article. The story talked about above comes on the finish of the article, however the entire article is about altering views.

Picture Credit

Swan Nest picture by Vincent Keiman on Unsplash

Ocelot photographs together with featured image of Kathryn’s first snorkeling journey courtesy of Jon and Sue Hacking.



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