The Happiness Advantage - How Positive Factors Shape Your Well-Being

Smile AM

 While many business owners debate the 'chicken or egg' issue of unhappy employees versus a drop in productivity, one principle from psychology is producing positive results for both. In fact, this principle is called the Happiness Advantage.

This psychology principle was developed by Shawn Achor, a psychologist who studied for 12 years at Harvard University. He has written a best-selling book, The Happiness Advantage, which inspired a TED talk called The Happy Secret to Better Work.

The ten dimensions measured allow for wide evaluation and comparison, while also offering the possibility to explore individual dimensions in greater depth. This provides for more nuanced understanding of how societal indicators affect well-being as well as targeted interventions to be developed more easily.

1. Health

Physical health is essential to overall wellbeing. A healthy body is better equipped to deal with life's physical trials and challenges, so maintaining it through diet, sleep and regular exercise as well as by avoiding substances like tobacco, alcohol and caffeine is crucial in order to attain physical wellness.

Researchers employ various approaches to assess an individual's subjective well-being, such as the hedonic and eudemonic models. While the former emphasizes experiencing joyous activities, while the latter seeks to fulfill one's potential.

Happiness is an integral component of health, and researchers have demonstrated this correlation through numerous studies. One such research effort examined happiness levels among participants against their ability to combat the common cold; results demonstrated that happier participants could more successfully combat off the virus. Furthermore, happier people had less objective symptoms. Happier individuals also tend to practice more health-promoting habits like getting enough restful sleep each night, eating nutritious diets and engaging in regular physical activities such as stretching.

As important as it is to practice health-promoting behaviors, it's also essential that one has supportive social networks and a sense of meaning in one's life. Social support helps reduce stress and depression while having purpose can help one overcome obstacles in one's path.

Shawn Achor is an award-winning author and speaker on the power of positivity. After 12 years studying positive psychology at Harvard University, he founded GoodThink Inc. which offers one of the largest positive psychology corporate training programs worldwide. Shawn has shared his research with CEOs in China, Pentagon leaders and schoolchildren across South Africa.

2. Relationships

Studies have demonstrated that those who are more satisfied with their relationships, both romantic and platonic, experience greater happiness than those whose relationships fall below par. Furthermore, these strong support networks make staying healthy easier: for instance, those with strong support networks tend to eat healthily and exercise more regularly while being less likely to experience depression and anxiety - one study even revealed that the happiest 10% had the strongest and most meaningful relationships (whether romantic or platonic).

Even if you aren't currently dating anyone, it is still essential that you create positive relationships in your life. This can be achieved by reaching out to new people on your morning commute or at the gym and by spending quality time with those you care for. Find activities that bring joy and offer purpose such as volunteering or engaging in hobbies; this way you will strengthen existing bonds while creating new ones.

Reducing conflict is another effective strategy to strengthen relationships. Conflict can be an immense source of distress and should be resolved peacefully to reduce stress levels and find common ground among yourself, your significant other or coworkers.

At work, creating a positive culture involves encouraging your employees to interact and socialize. Arrange office spaces in ways that foster this activity and try scheduling face-to-face meetings as often as possible. Furthermore, cultivate positive relations between bosses and employees as satisfied employees will perform at higher levels, benefiting not only customers they serve but also themselves.

3. Financial well-being

Just as it's important to visit a doctor for regular physical checkups, it is also crucial that your financial well-being be periodically assessed. Our free Financial Well-Being Assessment can give insight into your money habits.

Financial wellness involves following a regular budget, paying debt, and saving for long-term goals like a mortgage or retirement. Not only will these activities make you feel more financially secure; but they will also set the stage for future success and happiness.

Financial wellness also involves maintaining control of your short-term finances, such as meeting monthly obligations while keeping a good credit score that enables access to preferential borrowing rates for home and auto loans. Being in control allows you to live life worry-free!

PwC conducted a recent survey that indicated money worries are the number one source of stress among employees and are an enormous distraction in the workplace. By improving your financial wellbeing, however, you can avoid this source of tension and become more productive at your workplace.

Establishing your desired lifestyle goals can help keep you on the path toward achieving long-term financial goals. If your dream retirement involves retiring in the mountains and skiing every day, for instance, then making decisions that enable that lifestyle is integral to achieving financial wellness. This may involve smart choices about where the money goes or reducing short-term debt - both of which may prevent you from reaching your financial dreams.

4. Spirituality

Spirituality can be defined as a sense of connection to something bigger than oneself, whether that's through religion, personal beliefs about morals and values that guide behavior, or feelings of connectedness with other people. Many activities associated with overall wellness also help contribute to spiritual well-being - for instance, volunteering, being positive and optimistic, expressing gratitude, contributing to society, practicing self-care practices and connecting with others are examples of behaviors that contribute to spiritual well-being.

Spiritual wellness can help you discover meaning and purpose in life, leading to increased levels of happiness. Furthermore, it can assist with challenging situations like serious illness; research shows how spirituality influences how we make healthcare decisions and address end-of-life concerns.

Shawn Achor, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, is an internationally renowned expert on using positive psychology to achieve success in all areas of life. His books and TED Talk have been translated into over 30 languages worldwide while his happiness training courses are used by companies globally.

Achor's research has demonstrated that most people get their happiness formula wrong; most think success leads to happiness when in reality it's the other way around; being happy leads to greater performance across all aspects of your life. His teachings suggest that simple habits can increase both happiness and impact from every action taken; for instance, having a daily ritual for creating desired actions becomes automatic and more likely to happen, increasing success over time.

5. Environment

The environment has an enormous effect on our well-being. Living in an unsafe or unhygienic space can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression while living in an atmosphere that promotes cleanliness can improve mood, focus and creativity. Furthermore, environmental factors like air quality, noise levels and access to green spaces all play an essential part in both mental and physical wellbeing.

Your work environment can have a dramatic impact on both your happiness and success in the office. A positive working environment benefits employees and companies alike, boosting productivity while creating a collaborative teamwork atmosphere. Studies indicate that happy employees are up to 12 percent more productive, more likely to complete tasks efficiently and reach company goals more successfully than unsatisfied ones.

At the core of creating an ideal work environment lies inspiring employee development and providing them with a sense of comfort and safety. This ensures they perform at their optimal levels and help the company to expand as more employees invest themselves in meeting company goals, which results in improved customer service and increased revenue for your organization.

An ideal working environment should allow employees to find satisfaction in their jobs, develop professional relationships with co-workers and stay motivated at work - helping prevent burnout while providing overall happiness and career advancement opportunities.

Shawn Achor's book, The Happiness Advantage, presents seven principles to help transform your life for the better. A must-read for anyone striving to live happier and healthier lives. Start your free trial of Shortform today to read this inspiring text and experience its power on changing mindsets, relationships and careers!

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)

Previous Post Next Post