The secret of living a great life
John felt that his life was going well. He had found an occupation that he loved. Health was good. He had friends and a sense that he was contributing to the betterment of the world. He had enough money that just allowed him to meet his monthly commitments. However, all this changed when his car broke down and left him facing a huge financial bill which was beyond his means. He moved from a sense of well- being to feeling anxious about his finances and life. He started to worry,became apprehensive, which in turn affected his health and relationship. Itâ€™s amazing how a shift in one area of our life can have an effect on our overall sense of well-being and our emotional health.
Gallup, a leading company in analytics, conducted research into the state of well-being of individuals in over 150 countries on every continent and found that well-being is determined by five factors; the love for what we do every day, the quality of our relationships, the security of our finances, the vibrancy of our health and the pride we take in what we have contributed to our community. These five areas play an important role in determining how happy people are on a daily basis and therefore their emotional health. A lack in any of these areas will have an effect on one's overall well-being.
Letâ€™s look at each area separately.
1) We all need to do something when we wake up every day. People who love what they do, generally wake up in the morning looking forward to the dayâ€™s activity. If you dislike what you do, as a student, worker, housewife, retiree, your sense of well-being will be affected, even if other areas of your life are going well.
2) The better our social relationships, the happier we tend to be. When we reflect on good times we had, it usually involves people. It could be friends or family or a loved one. Healthy personal relationships act as a cushion during times of stress and allow love to flow in waves of joy and caring as we share and connect with each other. People who lack close personal relationships tend to feel depressed, frustrated and hopeless more easily than those in secured relationships.
3) Financial security: Money can increase short term happiness by giving us more control on how we spend our time. We can spend less time working and more time with family and friends doing the things we really want to do in life. Lack of money creates emotional and physical stress as we have to work hard to make ends meet. We constantly worry how we will pay the bills, take care of our health and eat properly. Without proper financial security we cannot choose where we want to live and have to settle for what we can afford. This can have a negative impact on our health and relationships.
4) Health. The state of our physical, mental and emotional health will determine the sense of well-being and the level of emotional fitness we experience. Lack of health brings worries, anxiety and concern about the future, thus depleting our sense of happiness.
5) Contributing to our community is about caring and a sense of engagement you have with the community you live in. When we contribute to the welfare of others it boosts our sense of significance and makes us feel good about ourselves. It promotes deeper social interaction, purpose and encourages a more active lifestyle.
Finally but what may be the most important, I believe,is the ability to experience deep inner peace and silence on a daily basis. The ability to reconnect with your divine or spiritual self allows you to reset your physiology and to grow in the awareness that your peace and fulfillment can be found within. The regular experience of this state enhances all the other five areas of our life, increasing your happiness, well-being and health and creating fulfillment in your life.
If we pay attention to all these areas and make a conscious effort to improve these areas every day we will find ourselves living a very happy fulfilled live 24/7.