Tom Rath, the author of Wellbeing suggests that there are five core elements of wellbeing that all contribute to a happy and successful life. The first essential element of wellbeing is career wellbeing. Having a purpose in our life whilst using our top five strengths every day. Having a reason to get out of bed each day and loving what we do is crucial to our overall happiness. Do you have career wellbeing in your life? What are your strengths? What is your area’s of excellence? Your passion? These are all vital questions that need to be asked when trying to achieve the first element of wellbeing.
The second essential element of wellbeing is our social wellbeing. This includes our relationships, whether personal or business related. Having strong, positive relationships and a good social circle is a critical component of a happy and successful life. Having love in our life and being loved. We know through the research of Caroline Miller and her work in Positive Psychology that social isolation hurts us more than smoking or high cholesterol in shortening our life and loneliness ages us. Our social connections will have a dramatic impact on what we go on to achieve in our life, including how well and how quickly we might recover from injury or illness.
The third essential element of wellbeing is our financial wellbeing. This is about managing our economic life. Having enough money for a rainy day, protecting our assets and having peace of mind.
The fourth essential element of wellbeing is our physical wellbeing. This is about our health and lifestyle choices. Having enough energy to get things done, doing exercise and making healthy eating choices. The research suggests that doing just 20 minutes of exercise each day can boost our mood for up to 12 hours.
The final essential element of wellbeing is community wellbeing. Liking where you live can have an effect on your attitude and also on your social wellbeing. If you are unhappy or unsatisfied with where you live, you are less likely to be involved in local social events and less likely to travel a distance to a place in which you would be involved. Are you near parks and beaches or feeling safe? These factors contribute to having positive engagement with your community.
So how would you rate your life in relation to these five essential elements of wellbeing? If you could rate your life in each of these areas – 1 being worst and 10 being best – how would your life rate across all five areas of wellbeing? We know through the science of positive psychology that the connection between happiness and goal accomplishment has now been proven to be undeniable. In fact, the connection is so profound that we are encouraged to gauge how happy we are and then look for ways to improve our wellbeing. The Gallup research suggests that 66% of people globally are doing well in at least one of these five areas and just 7% are thriving in all five. We are not getting the most out of life until we are effectively living in all five areas. If we struggle in any of these five areas, it impacts our wellbeing and wears down on our daily life. If we increase our wellbeing in any of these five areas – we will have better days, months and decades. What strategies can you adopt to increase your wellbeing in each of these five key areas? Make a commitment to yourself to do at least 3 things each week to boost your wellbeing. Find the things that make you happy and do them more often.