When last did you do a well-being check?

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Well-being is a field that I’m very interested in. Not only overall well-being but also well-being in the workplace. There are different definitions and types of well-being. In this blog I want to focus on overall personal well-being. The Oxford dictionary defines well-being as the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. Research shows that people with higher well-being have lower health-care costs, are more resilient, more productive, more involved in the successful development of their community and organizations they work at. It is, therefore, important to start focusing on well-being if we want to create flourishing societies.

Gallup and Healthways have developed a Well-being Index indicator to measure the well-being of different populations. They interviewed different people and then calculated the perception of their well-being through the following five interrelated elements that they believe make up well-being:

  1. Sense of purpose – like what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals.
  2. Social relationships– having supportive relationships and love in your life.
  3. Financial security– managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security.
  4. Relationships to Community – liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in you community.
  5. Physical health – having good health and enough energy to get things done.

According to their 2014 global research report, Panama is the country with the highest well-being, whereas Afghanistan scored the lowest. The European countries lead in financial well-being. The United States overall well-being is ranked 23rd of the 145 countries that participated. South Africa’s well-being is ranked in the lowest 25% (number 109). I was a bit shocked to read that the global overall well-being is only 17%. It made me wonder how important is well-being to others? (If you are interested you can read the full report http://www.well-beingindex.com/2014-global-report.)

As part of my coach training this year I had to assess my overall well-being at the beginning of this year and again now (at the end of the year). It is time consuming and not always easy to do an overall well-being check with yourself. It brings to the fore aspects of your life that you rather want to push aside or ignore. But if there is one thing that I know, it is that avoidance does not solve anything. If we don’t take the time to review our overall well-being we may never notice our patterns of behaviours or the consequences of our choices on our self, relationships and community. I want to challenge you to do a well-being check on yourself. If you are up for the challenge here are some questions that will get you going:

  1. How clear is my sense of purpose?
  2. What support am I providing to my loved ones and how much support am I receiving from them?
  3. How effectively am I managing my financial resources?
  4. How active am I involved in the community to foster compassion, service to others and a feeling of safety?
  5. How well do I listen to what my body is telling me and respond accordingly?

‘To know the world, first know yourself. To change the world, first change yourself.’ Anonymous

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