New Well-Being Tedx Talk from CWB Senior Scholar Dr. Beth Cabrera

by Whitney Hopler, Communications Director

New Well-Being Tedx Talk from CWB Senior Scholar Dr. Beth Cabrera

The amount of happiness and meaning people experience in life depends on the choices they make, says CWB Senior Scholar Dr. Beth Cabrera in her new Tedx Talk "How to Build Your Well-Being to Thrive."

Cabrera, who co-teaches our center's Positive Leadership program with Dr. Steve Gladis, advises that, "... much of our well-being is up to us. It depends on what we pay attention to, what we focus on -- and at each moment of the day we have a choice about where to focus." In the talk, Cabrera shares insights from brain research and stories from her life that show how intentionally making positive choices can lead to experiencing greater well-being.

Focusing attention on relationships is a key way to build well-being, says Cabrera. "Research shows that relationships are the most important factor for our well-being," she says. However, she adds, "People matter for our well-being. But we're less connected socially than we ever have been. We spend less time with our family and friends, we're less likely to know our neighbors, and we belong to fewer organizations. ... Connecting with others does take time and effort, but your well-being depends on it. So be intentional about connecting with people."

Service boosts the well-being of those who give as well as those who receive help, says Cabrera. "Giving is good for your health and your happiness. ... There are countless opportunities each day to do small acts of kindness."

Even when people have to deal with negative circumstances, they can build their well-being by choosing to focus on the positive in the midst of such situations. "By focusing on the good, you can rewire your brain, so that over time it naturally notices more of what's good," she says.

Mindfulness meditation is an especially valuable tool for training the mind to focus on what builds greater well-being, says Cabrera, who shares why mindfulness empowers people to make wise choices -- ones that strengthen their well-being.