Let’s accept that our physical and mental state can directly impact our relationships and performance in business and personal pursuits.
Wellbeing incorporates the health of the whole person – physical, social, mental and emotional. Our wellbeing can change throughout the course of a day or week, because it is reliant upon the optimum levels of each of the variables involved.
Wellbeing can bloom in an environment which is supportive and inclusive, where the individual senses a level of personal and psychological safety – identified as the number 1 component for the success of great teams. (Google: Project Aristotle findings)
Happiness can be considered as a state of wellbeing which encompasses living a life of meaning, fulfilment and content.
Again, research supports the value of happiness upon our physical and mental health; including our immune system, blood pressure and our immunity to infection. Happiness can now be linked to a longer lifespan as well as improved quality of life.
In his iconic book, author and adventurer, Chris Guillebeau, shared an insight worth our thought; “Is it the pursuit of happiness that promotes well-being, or is happiness a by-product of the pursuit?”
Our happiness and wellbeing can be further influenced by getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and pursuing goals, maintaining close social ties and finding purpose.
So, how can we cultivate wellbeing?
Neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, recently shared his thoughts on what he refers to as the pillars of wellbeing. During a recent podcast with thought-leader and author of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, Davidson identified the following as his pillars;
Awareness, Connection and Purpose.
Enhanced awareness can help prevent our mind from wandering (which he claims can be as much as 50% of the time) and bring it back to what is important right now.
Feeling truly connected to someone or something helps build empathy and strengthen relationships which nourish us.
Being motivated or driven by a sense of meaning that’s larger than self-interest can give us purpose. Finding purpose in helping others, or working toward a goal, provides a sense of wellbeing regardless of the outcome.
The upside is that most of this (if not all) is largely in our control.