The 20 Best Applied Psychology Concepts for Well-Being

The following are among the most indispensable concepts for optimizing psychological health and general well-being.

NOTE: These are not necessarily in order. They are all very important.

Self-awareness: knowing yourself – knowing your history, values, intentions, stable character traits, goals; understanding yourself in context – being genuinely authentic and adaptive 

Acceptance: knowing what you can and can’t change; fully accepting all conditions that are presently unchangeable – not adding emotional stress to real or perceived stressors

Conscious Living: being consistently aware of your life experience; non-judgmentally noticing the elements of your present experience + staying aware of the big picture (putting things in perspective)

Managing Attention: actively understanding the role of attention – knowing that where you put your attention is primarily responsible for the quality of your experiences; practicing conscious attention; constantly directing and re-directing your attention

Time Perspective: (impermanence) knowing that all stressors pass; people, and your own self, will forgive and forget your faults in time; knowing you almost always have a future chance to redeem yourself if you make mistakes; social experiences don’t matter in time, especially not the associated judgments of others; knowing you generally have more time than you think to do the things you want in life

Self-Regulation: overriding tempting stimuli by exercising “executive function”; managing and moderating your own emotions and behaviors; making sure your actions are in line with your goals

Non-Ego: disengaging self-ceneteredness; knowing you are stable consciousness, not your fleeting ego; catching the ego at play and gently disengaging it; letting go of defenses (employing non-defensiveness)

Rational Thinking: appealing to reason first and foremost; seeking ‘correctness’; maintaining logical beliefs and pursuing useful and appropriate trains of thought 

Delaying Gratification: exercising self-regulation with the intention of short term sacrifice for longer term gain; understanding transient urges; staying goal-oriented and identifying with your future self 

Responsiveness: non-reactivity; consciously intending to respond rationally and considerately- pausing upon stimulus, then speaking and acting appropriately 

Engagement: consistent doing; remaining involved and interactive with others and environments; giving full attention and effort to meaningful work and activity 

Self-Efficacy/Hardiness: believing in your “influencability” on your circumstances – anticipating your projects to have successful outcomes as a result of your own active influence; determined action + conscious resilience; re-affirming commitment thru effective real-time coping

Breathing: consistently centering yourself by consciously breathing – understanding the role of breath as an always-available anchor of calm; utilizing the breath for de-stressing the mind and body 

Body Relaxtion: consciously and consistently releasing all muscle tension (untensing) from face to feet; slowing down and moving more gently; remaining loosely still

Connection: staying genuinely attuned to others and environments; deeply understanding the importance of being with others – consciously making efforts to develop and sustain bonds 

Self-Organization: taking inventory and sorting the contents of both mind and environment; actively seeking clarity; structuring attention; prioritization of actions

Coherence: making sure your thoughts and beliefs align with your speech and action; reviewing your own mental models and constructs relative to objective reality; making sense of and properly incorporating new information 

Personal Stability: intentionally maintaining emotional and behavioral consistency and moderation; understanding the importance of balance and structure in all domains of life; consciously and consistently intending to stay stable; sustaining composure – never having a breakdown

Acknowledging Complexity: constantly reminding yourself that things aren’t black-and-white – that things are almost always more complex than they seem on the surface – and moderating your judgments accordingly; understanding variables and employing critical thinking; respecting individual differences 

Accurate Speaking: being completely honest in your speaking (without being disrespectful); consciously making your speech as clear and factual as possible (while maintaining situational discretion)

END NOTE: I apologize if the descriptions are too brief. I intend to elaborate on the concepts over time.