However, when chasing the American dream, some forget that it’s important to maintain happiness along the way. Many workers in the U.S. are known for living with a “work hard, play hard” mentality.
On the surface, putting all of your passion and focus into the activity in which you are engaged seems like a good idea. But the fact is, when we’re happy, we make better decisions, both at work and at play.
We believe the same holds true when making financial decisions. It may not be a good idea to make a big financial decision when you’re under a lot of stress or grieving. That’s one reason why it’s important to work with a financial professional who can help you with your long-term financial goals, using a variety of insurance products.
Studies have shown that people who prioritize their own well-being tend to be more productive, perform better and have better relationships with other people. This is true both in your personal life and in your professional one.
Research also demonstrates that leaders and employees who are more supportive of others around them — as opposed to “looking out for No. 1″ — not only improve their own performance, but even improve their health and longevity.
There are even more benefits to the science of being happy. For example, it can lead to better sleep, better digestion and just plain giving your nervous system a break. Many of the methods for facilitating happiness are simple and inexpensive, such as low-stress exercise like walking and swimming, not eating lunch at your work desk and eating fresh and more nutritious foods. Take time to focus on long, deep breaths, which help slow your body’s rhythm and funnel more oxygen to the brain.
It may also help to just take a break from whatever causes you stress, particularly at work. Studies have shown that creativity is more apt to occur when our mind is in a more relaxed state.
Thanks to America’s work ethic and prolonged hours in the office, the nation ranks highly in many areas compared to other developed countries. But in the happiness department, we fall a little flat. Perhaps if we focus on our own well-being and learn to de-stress and improve decision making, we can close the gap on Columbia and Denmark on the list of countries that rank highest in the happiness category.