Well-Being at Mason

At George Mason University, we believe that “we thrive together” – shared success is one of our core values. We want to provide a place for all members of our Mason community in an environment where they can personally thrive while contributing to the overall mission. The university-wide Center for the Advancement of Well-Being provides a focal point for our efforts to promote positive change. To learn more, view this video:

Mason helps students, faculty and staff build a life of vitality, purpose, resilience, and engagement.

Mason intentionally cultivates in its community members the knowledge and skills necessary for thriving together. Our university is promoting and supporting an environment providing students, faculty, and staff with educational, co-curricular, and professional development experiences, helping individuals assess quality of life and values with the goal of cultivating a well-lived life.

Defining Well-Being

At Mason, we define well-being as building a life of vitality, purpose, resilience, and engagement.

This includes thriving across a range of domains (physical, career, social, community, psychological and financial) and being satisfied with one’s life while experiencing curiosity, hope, meaning and joy.

We will help build vitality through the development of positive relationships and physical well-being through:

  • Creating and sustaining positive relationships and social support networks
  • Treating one another with civility and respect
  • Demonstrating leadership abilities that promote well-being and positive change
  • Pursuing a balanced life of healthy nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep

We will help develop purpose through values, and work engagement by:

  • Clarifying personal, professional, and community values
  • Pursuing and engaging in behaviors that are congruent with values
  • Striving for a life of purpose and meaning
  • Preparing to thrive and make meaningful contributions in future careers

We will help develop resilience through:

  • Increasing self-awareness through honest and continuous self-reflection
  • Increasing psychological flexibility
  • Recognizing and adapting to various situational demands that enable and promote values-driven behavior
  • Finding and fostering resiliency to overcome stress and adversity
  • Responding to stressful situations and managing stress in healthier ways

We will help develop engagement through:

  • Identifying, developing and applying strengths in daily activities
  • Opportunities for individuals to do what they are best at on a regular basis
  • Deepening one’s sense of belonging and connections with others
  • Finding opportunities to make connections with others in meaningful ways
  • Pursuing community service, service-learning, and collective action toward a common good as ways to contribute to others’ well-being

All disciplines and fields at Mason can contribute to a deeper understanding of the science and application of well-being and we believe that nearly every unit and program at Mason can identify pathways for students and employees to engage in their learning and growth.

Our goal is to engage all units in contributing to the goal of creating a nurturing and caring environment that supports all members of our community in realizing their potential. Research shows that our ability to thrive and succeed – as a student, as an employee, as an organization, and in our lives – is directly correlated to our degree of well-being.

Well-being can be learned and developed at any age, and the benefits cross over to all aspects of life. Each of us can actually change the chemistry of our brain to produce more positive and hopeful responses. Our levels of well-being can be elevated through engagement in the practices and mindsets that raise positive experiences, build resilience, and increase hope for a better future. When these evidence-based techniques become part of our everyday life, they increase our ability to make choices and take actions that lead to increased personal and professional success. Our center’s goal is to enhance individual and organizational well-being.

Our work provides individuals and organizations with tools and resources to more positively influence others and the world around them, creating a ripple effect to a world that’s thriving together. We invite you to learn more about our programs and the many ways you can engage with us.

Learn about the science of well-being in these columns written by our center’s senior scholar James E. Maddux, Ph.D and his colleagues.