Life balance and harmony
The relevance of balance and harmony to wellbeing has been understudied and under-theorised in psychology generally (excepting certain fields and cultural contexts). This omission partly reflects the field’s Western-centricity, with these concepts having had less influence in the West than elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is still a valuable body of research detailing their importance, of which this paper offers a narrative synthesis. This literature is organised into four areas: affect, cognition, behaviour, and self-other relations. Throughout these, balance and harmony can be appreciated as not merely integral to wellbeing, but arguably its defining feature. Based on this analysis, a new overarching definition of wellbeing is offered: the longitudinal and dynamic attainment of optimal balance and harmony in any and all aspects of life. It is hoped this paper will help provide a foundation and stimulus for further work on these important topics.
Copyright (c) 2021 Tim Lomas
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