Intellectual well-being occurs when we use our intellectual abilities in meaningful and satisfying ways. It includes the pursuit of intellectually stimulating and challenging activities throughout life. This includes things like learning, creativity, communicating, critical thinking, problem-solving and the pursuit of understanding and wisdom.
Humans are naturally curious and life-long learning helps our well-being. This requires an openness to new ideas and active participation in academic, creative and cultural experiences.
The use of memory, imagination and other cognitive faculties to communicate, solve problems, create new ideas, and think critically enhances well-being.
Expressing yourself in conversation, performance, writing or in art is an important path towards intellectual wellness. Also, listening to and learning from others and respecting different perspectives is a sign of intellectual wellness. A stimulating conversation is one of the finest things in life, and it doesn’t require fossil fuel energy, just a bit of mental energy.
Being able to concentrate is a crucial skill for intellectual well-being. Concentrating and engaging fully on something challenging, that you are good at and enjoy, is called flow. Flow is when you are fully functioning. You tend to lose the sense of time passing and also the sense of ego.
Developing skills for useful, practical purposes or simply for their own sake enhances well-being in various ways. Whether it is a handcraft, playing a musical instrument, playing a game, solving puzzles, public speaking, cooking, outdoor pursuits, or anything else, developing knowledge and skills is good for you.
The overall outcome of intellectual well-being over time is the attainment of wisdom.