5 Proven Fundamentals of Wellbeing
Let’s try an exercise.
After I ask you this question I want you, for 15 seconds, to put down your morning coffee, sit back in your office chair, close your eyes and envision:
What does your best possible future look like?
Now, what did you see?
More productivity in your role at work?
Quality time with your family- minus the technology?
Experiencing different cultures through travel?
Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news: you are largely in control of achieving your best possible future, however it does take daily practice. Striving towards a greater wellbeing in the short-term, guides you towards your best possible future in the long-term.
The bad news: much of what you believe to be responsible short-term goals towards improving your well-being is misconstrued. Media has portrayed good wellbeing to look like a confident smile after an intense workout. Some understand prosperity to be finally securing that big promotion they have been working towards. Many think successful wellbeing is a product of loads of money in the bank.
Wellbeing is much more complex than feeling happy or being wealthy.
According to Gallup’s Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing, wellbeing is an interdependent relationship of:
-how you occupy your time
-having strong relationships
-how you manage your economic life
-having good health
-a sense of engagement in the area you live
So yes, the runner’s high you gain after completing your evening run is an aspect of your wellbeing journey, however wellbeing is also how your physical health interacts with these four other elements. Not sure how? Keep reading. Below I go into further detail of these five elements and bring some light to small ways you can improve your overall wellbeing this week.
Here’s another question: do you like what you do each day?
If you thought I was talking about what you do for work, I wasn’t.
Career wellbeing isn’t about getting paid to do what you love; but how nice does that sound? Career wellbeing is taking time everyday to do something you enjoy, because believe it or not, you are a product of what you spend most of your time doing. If your everyday work triggers stress, you become stress and your social, physical and community wellbeing will suffer.
Whether you’re a student, a nine-to-five-er, a stay-at-home mom, or a retiree you must like what you do everyday to achieve greater wellbeing. Those who truly enjoy what they do everyday, are twice as likely to thrive in the other four elements of wellbeing.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
Interesting enough, social wellbeing is just as important to your physical health than it is to your physiological health. A study was conducted in which 42 couples were brought into a hospital and a small wound was created on each person. Those who described their marriage to be hostile took twice as long to heal from their wounds then those who don't consider themselves in a hostile marriage.
How successful your social wellbeing is directly correlated to how strong your relationships are within your social network and how much love you are given everyday. Now, how social are we talking? On average, a successful social life tends to be 6 hours of socializing a day. I know this sounds like quite a bit of socializing, but don't forget, this can include work meetings, phone calls or any other channels of communication. This is very achievable when you set SMART goals and consider all elements of wellbeing.
Despite what most think, financial wellbeing is not reflected on how financially secure an individual is. The crucial question to financial wellbeing isn’t how much- it’s how. How you spend your money is much more critical to your overall happiness then how much you earn.
Being mindful of your goals when you spend money is a simple way to bring about more happiness in your life. You might be asking, "How do my goals and my spending interact?" Right now, jot down some goals you have this week, some goals that will truthfully help you gain some happiness.
Here's a few examples:
-go to the gym 3 times this week
-apply to a few more challenging job positions
-spend more time with husband
Let's take on one goal at a time. So, if you want to spend more quality time with your husband, rather than spending this week eating your takeout in front of the TV, try taking out some time this week trying new restaurants you’ve never been to before. Better yet, spend that money buying the ingredients to cook dinners with your husband. Again, happiness is not dependent on how much, it’s how.
Exercise is directly related to how good you feel and how much energy you have. It’s extremely difficult to have the energy to keep up with your social and career goals if you don’t have the consistent energy to get through it all (and 3 large cups of coffee each day is not the answer). Breaking dawn with a morning run actually increases your mental health and productivity, reducing stress and increasing self-awareness for the rest of the day.
Sleep seems to be the opposite of productivity, right? Not always true. A healthy eight hours a day gives your body and brain enough rest to make connections more effectively and allow yourself to be more present throughout the day.
When it comes to sleep, keep track of:
-gaining quality sleep
-attaining enough sleep
-ensuring you're sleeping at appropriate times
Community wellbeing should not be confused with social wellbeing, though they sound comparable. This element of wellbeing is directly related to how much you value your time and how often you choose to spend your valued time on something higher than yourself.
Now, I want you to write down a few of your values, passions and what you believe to be your higher purpose.
How can you turn your values into work that is beyond yourself? Is their a local organization that serves your purpose? Volunteer. A helper's high is very similar to the runner’s high mentioned earlier. The feeling you receive from dedicating time and energy into a person or organization that truly benefits from your help, actually gives you more physical energy and improves your career wellbeing as well- do more of what you love. Give value to your time and get engaged with your community.
Put it in Action
Now that we covered all the elements of wellbeing…. now what?
Set some short-term goals.
Our future self suffers when we make decisions to treat our short-term happiness. The biggest obstacle to achieving a fulfilled life is, sadly, ourselves. When we make decisions against our long-term goals, we override any type of behavior change and end up exactly where we started.
If you were able to envision a better, more fulfilled life while reading this blog, I encourage you to take advantage of my complimentary consultation. During this call we’ll cover how my compassion coaching can help you set short-term goals to reach your best possible future.