According to one finding within a recent global wellness report (2018 Global Wellness Trends), happiness in the USA is plummeting. Of interest is that this has more to do with a lack of social connections and sense of community than with physical health or money. We recently blogged on the impact that lack of social connections and loneliness have on health.

Loneliness is a prominent influencer of happiness and well-being. And research is soaring regarding the negative impact that loneliness and social isolation have on health. In fact, research indicates that social isolation presents a greater risk of mortality than smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and lack of physical activity. There is a striking similarity with our other recent blog, The 5th Leading Cause of Death, isn’t there?

Of interest is that there has been mounting evidence that happiness impacts physical health, giving more credibility to ending the myopic focus many workplace wellness programs place on physical health risk factors alone. Emotional well-being, psychological well-being, spiritual well-being, cognitive well-being, environmental well-being, financial well-being, and social well-being ALL enhance well-being and impact physical health. There are literally dozens of studies that confirm this and some have been following cohorts for decades.

And the benefits of embracing the other dimensions of well-being – happiness and life satisfaction are not limited to employees. Organizations also benefit from happier, more satisfied employees – in other words, there is a return on investment by fostering high levels of well-being. Well-being is defined as the presence of positive emotions, satisfaction with life, and feeling good. The benefits to organizations

  • 37% increase in sales
  • 31% higher productivity
  • 300% more innovative
  • 10% increase in customer satisfaction

And here’s the thing, enhanced well-being is stronger and more powerful than someone’s cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI. In fact, there is a plethora of research that happiness – well-being – has an independent and powerful impact on physical health.

Hmmm, another great ‘book club’ meeting discussion. Who’s interested?