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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25 Motivational Quotes To Get You Through Tough Classes

Showing up is half the battle.
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We all come across those classes that we just think we cannot pass. Every day is a struggle and each assignment, quiz, or exam makes you feel even worse about the class. Here are some of the quotes I have found that help me stay motivated.

1. A little progress each day adds up to big results.

2. Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be.

3. At any given moment, you have the power to say, this is not how the story is going to end.

4. Do it now. Sometimes “later” becomes “never."

5. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. --Oprah

6. Don't look back you’re not going there.

7. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

8. Every day is a second chance.

9. F.A.I.L. First Attempt In Learning

10. Fake it till you make it.

11. F.E.A.R. has two meanings: forget everything and run or face everything and rise. The choice is yours.

12. Good things come to those who work.

13. If you’re going through hell, keep going. --Winston Churchill

14. Life is tough my darling, but so are you.

15. Make it happen.

16. No matter how you feel. Get up, dress up, show up and never give up.

17. No regrets in life. Just lessons learned.

18. Nothing is impossible. The word itself says: I’m possible. --Audrey Hepburn

19. Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.

20. Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anyone else.

21. "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."--Franklin D. Roosevelt

22. When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

23. "You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way." -- Jennifer Freeman

24. Your attitude determines your direction.

25. You only fail when you stop trying.

Hopefully you found some motivation in these quotes. I did not come up with any of these quotes, but they help me get through those tough days where I think I am never going to do well.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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No, You Aren't Wrong. You Should Call Out People On Their Bad Behaviors

If someone has to be the bad guy, at least know how to do it correctly.
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I'm often seen as the motherly friend due to my age, life experience, and chosen profession which fundamentally requires you to be a caring person by nature.

I give a lot of advice and I listen to a lot of problems, most of which I'm able to put some contribution in to help my friends solve their issues. I am frequently asked a similar question over and over again.

"This person is doing this. Do I call them out on it?"

Confrontations happen every day in classrooms, on the job, in dorms, with coworkers, in apartments, in families, and with friends. Sooner or later, you will have to confront someone and you're going to have to know how to do it correctly.

I had a friend, Christiana, who came to me with this very question. In her instance, a classmate who had exhibited poor behavior over the semester came into class one day only to pick an argument with the professor. The argument was purely centered around ignorance on the student's side and they refused to accept the answer the professor was providing, even though it was the correct one.

This whole incident ended up taking a large amount of learning time away from the whole class and could have easily been avoided if the student had done a basic amount of research. When Christiana told me about this, she also added: "I want to tell her I didn't appreciate how she acted, but I don't know how."

This is what I call "the call out conundrum."

You KNOW a person is wrong but you don't want to seem confrontational or rude.

Here's the thing, you won't. At least you won't later on.

In Christiana's case, she had every right to confront the student and call them out on their behavior because she's a student at this university and she paid to be in that room so she could learn. The professor's salary is paid regardless so they didn't have anything to lose, but she did.

No one likes confrontation. It's uncomfortable and often breeds hostility and an over-exaggerated reaction from the people you did confront. But there's one great benefit to doing it.

If you call someone out, they can no longer plead ignorance.

Meaning, if you tell a person straight to their face: "Hey, I didn't like the way you acted/spoke/inferred something. It wasn't right for you to do." then that person can no longer claim they didn't know their actions are wrong.

Yes, it's 2018 and we still have people who live in such an ignorant bubble that they believe everything they've done is the right thing until someone directly tells them that it was wrong. Yeah, these people exist.

By calling them out once on their behavior, they can no longer say they didn't know any better because they DO know better. You told them they were wrong already. So if they do it again, you KNOW they know they're wrong.

So how do you confront someone the right way?

1. Identify the problem and ask yourself why it's wrong.

It sounds silly but sometimes when you confront someone, it could be something that's not actually bad. I don't really like it when people hock big loogies and spit on the sidewalks, but me going up to a random stranger and telling them they're disgusting if they do isn't going to change their actions and they probably won't care if I like it or not. If you're going to confront someone, make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.

There's a difference between something being wrong and something you don't personally like. If you are unsure, ask for a second opinion from someone who is unbiased in the situatution.

2. Confront them when you're calm.

It is better not to confront someone in the heat of the moment (in most cases). You know they did something wrong, but if you confront them right after it happened chances are you're going to be too emotional about it. Your argument will deteriorate if you come in angry or sad or if you throw in curse words every other syllable.

The only exception to this? If you see something actually illegal. If you see someone steal, harm, assault, or do anything else that is against the law to another person or property, confront them right away (after you tell the proper authorities depending on the severity).

3. Prepare for backlash.

No one likes to be confronted and no one likes to be told they're wrong. That's just human nature. If you confront someone their bad behavior, be prepared for them to either get hostile or for them to deny it. Remember, the end game is not to start a fight, it's to inform someone that they need to change their behavior/attitude.

4. Be prepared to be wrong.

It happens. Sometimes things are written that are factually wrong. Sometimes we say stuff without thinking or we don't know the whole side of the story on both sides. If you call someone out and you happen to be wrong about it, just apologize and move on.

If you followed the first three steps, you did it in a calm and collected manner and prepared an argument. Arguments can be refuted and be wrong. It's okay to be wrong.

5. Remind yourself you did the right thing.

No one likes to be the bad guy in the room. But if you see something that's a direct violation of your school's, job's, or your own personal (within reason, see #1) code of ethics or set of rules, you should say something.

Because of the Bystander Effect, if you're in a large group, we will tend to automatically assume someone else will do the dirty work for you so you don't have to.

Don't assume this ever. Everyone will start to think someone else will confront them and eventually no one will do it. Step up and do it. If you confront someone and you are a part of a large group, chances are someone else has the same feelings you do and will back you up if you need to.

Being the bad guy is never fun. But if you know how to confront someone correctly and it's warranted, call them out on it. Instead of being silently frustrated over someone's poor behavior, make it known.

Be aggressive, or it's not going to change anytime soon.


Cover Image Credit: Anne O'Hara

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