The Wellbeing Capital

Canberra is in danger of loosing its best-kept secret status after the OECD scored it as the top ranking region world wide for wellbeing based on criteria such as security, environment, health and education. This follows hot on the heels of being talked up by the New York Times who lauded Canberra’s big-sky beauty, breezy civic pride and…decidedly hipster underbelly.” Canberra you are so hot right now!

I like to think I know a bit about wellbeing myself, I find the idea of living in the #1 region for wellbeing rather charming. It got me thinking about what constitutes the wellbeing of a city. I work with enough Canberrans to know that despite our #1 status we’re not all in a state of perpetual blissed out conviviality.

What makes us well? To me, it is the luxury of pursuing elements of life that create joy, purpose and contentment. 

What the OECD report points out is that us Canberrans have our basic needs for safety and security are being pretty well met. Compared to other places on the planet, we are able to put a meal on the table and a roof over our heads. If we get sick we can be attended to, if we want to learn we can access quality resources.

Just as health is more than the absence of disease, wellbeing is more than having our basic needs met, although that is a pretty good foundation on which to build.

If we accept that (compared to many others) we have it pretty good we then have the luxury and challenge asking ourselves a bigger question. What does it take for you to be really content, what brings you joy? Do you feel like you are connected to and living your life’s purpose? For me having just recently become a dad, contentment, joy and purpose just got all rolled into one thing: being able to spend time with my family. I also love my work and being able to help others feel healthier and happier gives me a kick.

What about you? To quote Mary Oliver, “What are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Wes Smith

Wes is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stressanxiety and depression
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes also enjoys teaching meditation and is the creator of an online resource for learning how to meditate. es has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist. Learn more about acupunctureherbal medicine and meditation.