The Oxford Dictionary defines well-being as “emotional, physical, and psychological health and happiness.”  However, it is much more difficult to define what that means for individuals and why some people achieve well-being, and others do not. With that in mind, social scientists have been studying cultures and countries for decades, to determine the key elements involved in overall well-being.

Their studies concluded that overall well-being is dependent on career, social, financial, physical, and community well-being.  Although the people interviewed for this research often gave more weight to some of these elements than others, researchers concluded that all five are crucial and make the difference between a robust, happy person and one who is suffering.

1. Physical Well-Being Is Essential

Unsurprisingly, studies show that good physical health is critical for a life well-lived. Those who are overweight, tired, or unable to do basic functions like climb stairs cannot live full lives, and correcting health issues gets more difficult with age. In fact, everything is more difficult. It takes effort and commitment to maintain optimal health, but the effort is worth it.

Many people work against their own best interests by eating poorly, not exercising, and generally making poor choices. However, with a little effort, anyone, at any age, can improve the quality of their life by taking small steps that lead to physical well-being

Improved nutrition can provide an energy boost that makes exercising easier, and often quality supplements have the necessary nutrients. For example, customers can check out and locate a range of nutritional products. They can also access wellness information that helps them alter lifestyle behaviors so they can achieve more positive outcomes.

2. Social Well-Being Is Critical

Human beings need healthy, loving relationships to thrive and achieve social well-being. According to Psychology Today, being close to just three people may be enough to ward off a psychological disorder. Studies show that the quality of relationships is more important than their quantity.

There is more benefit in being close to a few people who matter than having many personal connections. Humans get the most benefit from associating with those who encourage and support them.

3. Careers Impact Overall Well-Being

Work plays a vital part in most peoples’ quality of life and sense of well-being.  Work well-being means that employees thrive in all aspects of their jobs. It encompasses factors like stress levels, the opportunity to learn and develop in their careers, and relationships with co-workers and supervisors.

Workplace well-being can relate to on-the-job safety and performing jobs in a healthy environment. When workers are not happy in their jobs, they can get burned out, leave the company, or produce lower-quality work.

Per the International Labour Organization (ILO), companies are increasingly taking steps to increase employee well-being, which helps their workforce and increases chances for success. Unhappy workers are more likely to have alcohol and drug use, conflicts, and stress-related disorders.

4. Financial Well-Being Affects Quality of Life

Financial well-being is a core element of financial security.  It is just as important an issue as other issues and can have a major impact on quality of life. A disorganized financial situation is a source of stress, which impacts physical and mental health negatively.

Someone who enjoys financial well-being:

·  Can reach the financial goals they have set

·  Is in control of their daily and monthly financial situation

·  Has the ability to make choices that allow them to enjoy life

·  Can absorb a financial shock, like an unexpected event

There is no specific amount of money that bestows financial well-being on every one since each person defines financial success differently. A person who makes a modest living could enjoy financial well-being, while a much richer individual might be unhappy and stressed over money. True financial well-being cannot be measured just in terms of income and savings.

A financially healthy person has no or a low amount of debt and feels no stress about money issues. They have the resources to maintain their current lifestyle.

Fortunately, those who have money problems can achieve financial well-being by following a few rules:

·   Set realistic financial goals:  Create financial goals and then steadily work towards them. It is best, to begin with small, achievable goals, such as saving a fairly small amount of money over a set timeframe and then work up to bigger goals.

·  Be careful with splurges: There is nothing wrong with a financially stable person occasionally buying something they feel they shouldn’t, but it should not be a habit.

·  Get a financial education: Many people develop money troubles because they have no idea how finances work or the impact of poor spending habits. Learning about finances provides the tools to make smarter choices. 

·  Keep an eye on finances: There is no way to gauge financial health without routine monitoring. Experts suggest setting a time every few weeks or months to check in and make needed adjustments.

 5. Community Well-Being Is Key

Studies show that people engaged in communities are more likely to say they are happy and enjoy a good quality of life. Becoming part of a community creates a sense of connectedness that positively affects mental, physical, and emotional health. 

Unfortunately, many peoples’ lives do not lend themselves to community activities. They may work at home, not know their neighbors, and live far from their families. However, it is still possible to get involved in group activities. Joining clubs, volunteering, and taking lessons are great ways to find people to share activities with, which creates a sense of community.

Even virtual communities such as social media groups and online forums can become sources for communications and support. Sharing experiences online can lead to a more positive, healthier mindset and greater enjoyment of life. Research shows that millions of people have little or no social connections. Simply forming connections with online friends can help lower the risk of mental illness.

According to social scientists, overall well-being depends on physical, social, career, financial, and community well-being. The happiest people are those who enjoy good health, close relationships, and job satisfaction. Their financial health is also good, and they are part of a community of members they communicate with regularly.

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