Research Finds the Key Influences on Your Happiness & Well-being

Research Finds the Key Influences on Your Happiness & Well-being

Personality Type, Geography, and Occupation among a variety of factors that influence workplace well-being
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If you think video games are a waste of time, new research by CPP Inc., challenges that assumption. According to their research, for people with a certain personality type, videogames contribute more to a personal sense of well-being than other stress management techniques or socializing.

Happiness (or “well-being” as researchers like to call it) has been a rapidly growing trend of study and for a good reason! Not only do we benefit from being happy, but our employers benefit too—happy workers are more energetic, creative, and cooperative, and tend to work harder and better, according to CPP’s research. The researchers looked at well-being through Martin Seligman’s PERMA model, the most widely accepted happiness framework, which identifies well-being along five areas:

  • Positive Emotions—internal feelings such as happiness, contentment, and pleasure
  • Engagement—deep psychological connection, absorption, and interest in an activity or a cause that’s intrinsically motivating
  • Relationships—where the positive aspects of the relationship greatly outnumber the negative aspects and involve mutual feelings of caring, support, and satisfaction
  • Meaning—having a sense of purpose and direction in life and feeling connected to something bigger than oneself
  • Accomplishment—pursuing success, winning, progress, or mastery for its own sake

The study—Wellbeing and MBTI® Personality Type in the Workplace—found that well-being is influenced by a variety of factors including MBTI personality type, geography, age and occupation.

How do age, gender, and where we live affect well-being?

How does getting older affect our happiness? The research found that well-being increased with the age of the respondents (score one for #adulting). And women on average rate their well-being higher than men.

Also, the effectiveness of how you attempt to increase your happiness is very much influenced by where you live, and possibly your culture. For example, respondents from Africa indicated that the two happiness activities associated with religion and spirituality were effective, while European respondents rated those same two items as less effective in increasing their happiness than their African counterparts.

Does Introversion or Extraversion influence happiness?

It may not be surprising that factors such age, gender and location impact our sense of well-being. But what about us as individuals? One of the purposes of the MBTI® instrument is to help us discover what comes most naturally to us, regarding the way we prefer to communicate, think and make decisions. The study also looked at the relationship between a person’s MBTI personality type and their well-being, and found several connections. A few examples include:

  • Well-being is lower overall for individuals with a preference for Introversion (I) compared to those with a preference for Extraversion (E)
  • Individuals with preferences for ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving) and INTJ (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging) show lower levels of workplace well-being, with ISTP showing the lowest levels
  • Those with preferences for ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving), ESTJ, and ENTJ show generally higher levels of workplace well-being, with ENFP showing the highest levels

Video games can make some people happy

People of a certain personality type benefit from playing video games in terms of well-being. Interestingly, the group that showed the all-around lowest levels of workplace well-being (ISTP) rated many of the activities that we normally assume contribute to well-being lower than other groups. What does make them happier? They rate “playing video games” as an activity with moderate to high levels of effectiveness when it comes to well-being.

This isn’t saying video games should be thought of as a contributor to workplace well-being—for the entire group of respondents, it ranked among the lowest-rated activities. Then again, so did yoga, playing sports, religious activities and meditation.

So what activities did people find helped them most with their well-being? Listening to/playing music, spending time with family/friends, eating healthy, exercise and walking. Yes, exercising is a high contributor to well-being, and playing sports isn’t—so an employee gym membership may be more beneficial than a company softball team.

Librarians are happier than entertainment and media

The research showed that there are measurable differences between how people in different occupations rank their well-being. The occupational group with the highest overall level of workplace well-being was respondents who selected “Community and social services” and “Education, training, and library occupations.”

On the other hand, respondents who selected “Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media” and “Office and administrative support” reported the lowest levels of workplace well-being.

While the study found numerous general trends, the biggest takeaway is how individual the path to well-being is for all of us.

There’s no formula that works the same for everyone—we’ve each got to identify our own way. And companies that want a happier, more productive workforce should allow the flexibility to tailor their programs to the preferences of individual workers. In some cases, it may even mean allowing a certain amount of video game playing or office meditation. Now that’s employee engagement we can get behind.
Cover Image Credit: Google

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants
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Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College


The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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Not Having A Smartphone Actually Makes Me Happier

Or how to survive the 21st century without a permanent Internet connection.
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According to my findings, it is commonly expected that you exchange Snapchat profiles and Instagram feeds with people you first meet before further engaging in bonding activities. Hence, when I tell them that I do not have a smartphone, I’m always amazed at the way their eyebrows climb towards their forehead to express the utmost bewilderment.

I chuckle as their mouth slowly opens to form a round hole from which the following words flow: “How do you survive?” I usually respond that I’m doing pretty well, apart from the occasional back pain or the tiredness induced by my daily activities. What I’m truly wondering is how I survived before, when I did have a smartphone.

I remember the constant noise, the visual stimulus popping on my screen, every minute of every hour of every day – notifications from a multitude of people I barely knew, as a thousand trumpet players preventing me from thinking straight, gigantic blinders blocking my view.

I remember the vicious strategy implemented for me to waste as much time as possible, eyes bound to the glass rectangle, deaf to the world around me – feeding off my love for things to capture me inside a virtual cage.

Covered by the false purpose of connecting people, the hellish device wanted nothing less than the death of my capacity to enjoy the moment.

Who needs to be available at all times, his brain constantly exposed to mainly irrelevant information and useless content? Is it a life to be permanently chained to others, unable to escape from requests for attention? Does it matter to you this much?

Now that I’m out of there, looking back gives me the chills. When I walk in the world and I see all those still trapped in their virtual cage, I wish to scream at them, shake their arms, throw their $999 device far away and watch it burn as a weight is being lifted off their shoulders.

Living without a connected smartphone is completely doable. I have a functioning iPhone 4s, no data plan, and four apps installed: Messenger, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Spotify – hard to survive without music, I’ll give you that. As long as I don’t have a Wi-Fi nearby, I’m off the grid. I also carry a “phone” with me in case of emergency – one of these old black brick with a week-long battery capacity.

Indeed, every trip becomes more of an adventure since using Maps is not an option. I reconnected with people as I asked my way around, and I rediscovered the mere excitement induced by getting lost. Every walk is a pure enjoyment of my surroundings, every conversation an uninterrupted flow of care, every downtime an occasion to think and reflect rather than watching pictures of places I’ll never go.

It relates to our most precious resource – time – and what we decide to do with it.

Don’t get me wrong: technology is fantastic. I’m more resentful towards the intrusion of social networks in our daily lives, the constant claim to our attention, and the seldom realization of the issue. As we constantly concede the “now” into a box made of glass and plastic, we give some of our humanity away.

Cover Image Credit: rawpixel

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