Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Be Happier and Live Longer

March 9th, 2011

My last blog asked if you were happy at work. I listed several reasons as to why we should be interested in increasing our happiness and why organizations should jump on board – quickly.

I received a request for research that would substantiate this claim. My first recommendation is to pick up a copy of the How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, 2007. Penguin Books. Sonja cites tons of research (including her own) and includes 40+ pages of notes. I am so impressed with this book that I created a home study based on it.

The second book is called Positivity. Here is the reference: Barbara Frederickson, PhD. (2009). Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive, Crown Publishers, New York.  Barbara’s research has shown that in order to flourish, we need a positivity ratio of 3 positives to 1 negative.  (Even more at work!)

Last week, I came across a news article called, “Don’t worry, be happy – and live longer.” Researchers Ed Diener and Micaela Chan reviewed more than 160 studies on the connection between a positive state of mind and overall health and longevity. They found “clear and compelling evidence” that happier people enjoy better health and longer lives.

Here is the abstract for the article. The reference follows.

Seven types of evidence are reviewed that indicate that high subjective well-being (such as life satisfaction, absence of negative emotions, optimism, and positive emotions) causes better health and longevity. For example, prospective longitudinal studies of normal populations provide evidence that various types of subjective well-being such as positive affect predict health and longevity, controlling for health and socioeconomic status at baseline. Combined with experimental human and animal research, as well as naturalistic studies of changes of subjective well-being and physiological processes over time, the case that subjective well-being influences health and longevity in healthy populations is compelling. However, the claim that subjective well-being lengthens the lives of those with certain diseases such as cancer remains controversial. Positive feelings predict longevity and health beyond negative feelings. However, intensely aroused or manic positive affect may be detrimental to health. Issues such as causality, effect size, types of subjective well-being, and statistical controls are discussed.

Here is the reference: Diener, E. and Chan, M. Y. (2011), Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3: 1–43. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-0854.2010.01045.x

Enjoy . . . and be happy.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our monthly newsletter where we will explore this topic in more detail. Read the book Rethinking Your Work and learn how to create spirit at work.

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” A consultant, agent of change and professional speaker, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. Check out her Spirit at Work Program and Inspired Leadership training at www.kaizensolutions.org. Val is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook. Available now at www.rethinkingyourwork.com.

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Posted in Employee Wellbeing: Refilling the Cup | Comments (0)

Are you happy at work?

March 1st, 2011

Not too long ago, happiness was considered “fluff” and not worthy of attention. People would laugh if your spoke about happiness at work! But not anymore.

Google “happiness” today and you will see how that has changed. You will find tons of web sites and blogs claiming to know the secret to happiness. Universities are offering courses on happiness. Researchers are specializing in the area and are writing books about how to increase your happiness level.  Even academic journals are dedicated to the subject. And “happiness” conferences are popping up everywhere. Including a happiness at work conference in Copenhagen this spring.

And why wouldn’t they? Happier people, well, they are just happier. They are more fun to be around and are more likely to have more spirit at work. All of which positively impacts productivity.

Need more convincing? In comparison to less happy people, happy people:

  • have more energy and are more motivated
  • are more optimistic and more resilient in the face of hardship
  • are healthier, have stronger immune systems, and take fewer sick days
  • are more cooperative, better liked by others at work and have richer friendships
  • make better and more informed decisions and are more productive in their jobs
  • are better leaders and negotiators
  • are more open to learning new things and show more flexibility and ingenuity in their thinking

How could this not have a positive impact on employee wellbeing and productivity? So what is holding us back from promoting happiness, and particularly, happiness at work?

Want to learn more? Sign up for our monthly newsletter where we will explore this topic in more detail. Read the book Rethinking Your Work and learn how to create spirit at work.

Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” A consultant, agent of change and professional speaker, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. Check out her Spirit at Work Program and Inspired Leadership training at www.kaizensolutions.org. Val is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook. Available now at www.rethinkingyourwork.com.

Follow ValKinjerski on Twitter
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Posted in Employee Wellbeing: Refilling the Cup, Getting to Spirit at Work | Comments (1)