An exploration of the well-being benefits of hedonic and eudaimonic behaviour

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An exploration of the well-being benefits of hedonic and eudaimonic behaviour

Hedonia and eudaimonia have both been proposed as pathways to well-being. Past research in this area has predominantly focused on global cognitive evaluations of how one typically lives. Findings from such research lack practical relevance and hence this study aimed to investigate how actual hedonic and eudaimonic behaviour related to well-being and psychopathology. Participants (N = 105) completed an array of well-being outcomes prior to completing an online diary reporting actual instances of hedonic and eudaimonic behaviour. Participants spent more time engaged in hedonic activity than eudaimonic activity. Hedonic activity served an emotion regulation function predicting positive affect carefreeness vitality and life satisfaction. Hedonic behaviour also predicted reduced negative affect depression and stress. Eudaimonic behaviour predicted meaning in life and elevating experience. Both hedonic and eudaimonic behaviours predicted flourishing. These findings suggest that increasing hedonic and eudaimonic behaviours may be an effective way to increase well-being and reduce psychological distress.

The Journal of Positive Psychology , 2013 Vol. 8, No. 4, 322 – 336

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