Activities for Flourishing: An Evidence-Based Guide

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Tyler J VanderWeele


Well-being, flourishing, intervention, gratitude, forgiveness, happiness


The paper reviews various evidence-based activities that can be easily employed to promote human flourishing. The evidence from numerous randomized trials has now established a number of do-it-yourself activities that can be used to improve various aspects of well-being. Moreover, various relational and institutional commitments can be voluntarily pursued which likewise have been shown to have substantial effects on well-being. Each of these activities or commitments in some way involves an orientation to the good. The present paper reviews the nature of, and evidence for, various cognitive and behavioral activities and interventions, various relational and institutional commitments, and also various workbook interventions that have been shown to promote well-being. This is important for its own sake. It is also important in thinking about the tracking and measurement of well-being. Concerns are sometimes raised about the measurement of well-being that, if it is to be routinely assessed, then there is an accompanying responsibility to be able to offer support to those with low well-being measurements.  This present guide to flourishing activities helps, at least partially, to address concerns about being able to support those with lower well-being levels if well-being assessment were to become routine.


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