Quality-of-Life Management Issues in the News


Management QOL in the News - October 25, 2020

This island unlocked the secret to long life—and knows how to get through tough times

by Rob Goss

In the village of Ogimi, located in the rural north of Okinawa’s main island, there’s a small stone marker with a few sentences written in Japanese. Roughly translated, they read: “At 80, you are merely a youth. At 90, if your ancestors invite you into heaven, ask them to wait until you are 100—then, you might consider it.”

That’s not bluster. At the latest count, 15 of Ogimi’s 3,000 villagers are centenarians. One hundred and seventy-one are in their 90s. Even in Japan, which currently has more than 70,000 people aged 100 or over, that’s a remarkable statistic.

Before COVID-19, travelers were beginning to take notice. Masataka Nozato at Ogimi Village Office says the town, far removed from the tourist trail, had started to see a slight increase in visitors curious about Okinawan longevity.

Read full article here.

October 15, 2020

Wellbeing in a New Era: Expanding Traditional Perspectives With Global Inclusiveness

The impact of COVID-19 on our health and economies will be felt well beyond the immediate crisis. The effects of the pandemic have led people around the world to take stock of their wellbeing — but “wellbeing” isn’t a uniform concept with a consistent understanding across cultures.

Join Gallup Senior Scientist Ed Diener to learn more about people’s perceptions of wellbeing during COVID-19, and the global research on wellbeing, in a webinar moderated by Gallup’s Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Younis. Diener is a pioneer in the science of happiness and a leader in the movement to use wellbeing metrics to drive public policy.

The webinar will explore some efforts researchers have undertaken to broaden our understanding of wellbeing around the world and establish more inclusive, cross-cultural definitions and measurements. It will also include a discussion on the benefits of wellbeing in your health, work and relationships.

Watch the talk here.

Management QOL in the News - September 9, 2020

The Science of Happiness in Positive Psychology 101

By Katherine Nelson-Coffey, PhD

Happiness has been a human pursuit for as long as we can remember, and positive psychology has taken this concept into the realm of scientific research in hopes of gaining a better understanding of global well-being and meaningful living.

Whether on a global or an individual level, the pursuit of happiness is one that is gaining traction and scientific recognition.

There are many definitions of happiness, and we will also explore those in this article. For now, we invite you to think of a time when you were happy. Were you alone? With others? Inside? Outside.

Read full article here.

The Science of Happiness

Learn how to boost your well‑being with strategies from groundbreaking research in positive psychology, CBT, and mindfulness.

Check out the site here.

What Is the Science of Happiness?

By Meghan Keener, Contributor

The field of positive psychology operates from the premise that we ought to acknowledge both the light and the dark sides of life. It focuses on positive elements of life such as character strengths, positive emotion, resilience, purpose, positive relationships, and creative achievement.

The phrase "the science of happiness" refers to a new field of social science called positive psychology. Contrary to popular belief, it is not "positive thinking" or self-help, but a broad empirical field of research and application worldwide. According to one of its pioneers Chris Peterson, simply put, positive psychology is the study of those things that make life worth living. While traditional psychology is mitigative -- helping us get less of what we don't want and fix the things that are wrong with us -- positive psychology functions constructively in helping us get more of what we do want, and making ourselves better, happier people. The executive director of the International Positive Psychology Association has called it the "psychology of building."

Read full article here.

The Neurochemicals of Happiness

By Christopher Bergland

Life in the human body is designed to be a blissful experience. Our evolutionary biology ensures that everything necessary for our survival makes us feel good. All animals seek pleasure and avoid pain. Therefore, our brain has a wellspring of self-produced neurochemicals that turn the pursuits and struggles of life into pleasure and make us feel happy when we achieve them.

This biological design is generous, but lays dormant in many. In this entry, I will look at seven brain molecules linked to happiness and offer simple ways you can trigger their release in your daily life.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - August 30, 2020

Cultivating Worker Well-Being to Drive Business Value

By Indeed Editorial Team

This report reflects the views of 1,073 business leaders and shows there is universal agreement that prioritizing worker happiness gives companies a competitive advantage (87%), makes it easier to retain talent (96%), and has a positive impact on society as a whole.

Three-quarters of executives surveyed report employee expectations around happiness in the workplace have risen in the last five years, yet 19% of companies have actually made it a strategic priority. These “happiness leaders” are a forward thinking group of employers who report that prioritizing employee happiness can have a meaningful impact on your business. The report outlines the immediate steps companies can take to bring more well-being and happiness into every organization.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - July 5, 2020

Coronavirus has left Americans unhappier than ever. But here's why things are looking up.

By John F. Helliwell, editor of the World Happiness Report

American happiness had been eroding for years. Then the coronavirus happened. Americans are now less happy than they’ve ever been. Now, a new survey looking at happiness post-coronavirus shows that Americans have never been in more despair. According to the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, only 14 percent of American adults are very happy, a huge drop from the 31 percent who were just two years ago.

Read full article here.

On Coronavirus Lockdown? Look for Meaning, Not Happiness

By Emily Esfahani Smith

The coronavirus pandemic has not just threatened the physical health of millions but also wreaked havoc on the emotional and mental well-being of people around the world. Feelings of anxiety, helplessness and grief are rising as people face an increasingly uncertain future — and nearly everyone has been touched by loss. A nationally representative poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that nearly half of all Americans — 45 percent — feel that the coronavirus has negatively affected their mental health.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - June 18, 2020

US happiness level at 50-year low, poll shows

ASSOCIATED PRESS

It's been a rough year for the American psyche. Folks in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they've been in nearly 50 years.

This conclusion comes from the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted in late May, by NORC at the University of Chicago. It finds that just 14% of American adults say they're very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they'd often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, the figure is at 50%.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - May 05, 2020

Happiness - What Is Happiness?

Happiness is an electrifying and elusive state. Philosophers, theologians, psychologists, and even economists have long sought to define it. And since the 1990s, a whole branch of psychology—positive psychology—has been dedicated to pinning it down. More than simply positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life, one with a sense of meaning and deep contentment.

Read full article here.

Happiness

We all want to be happy. But how, exactly, do you go about it? The answers in these TED Talks on happiness — from psychologists, journalists and monks — may surprise you.

View TED Talks on happiness here.

Wellbeing News

Read the latest news about wellbeing.

Visit the Wellbeing News

Management QOL in the News - February 18, 2020

How Much of Your Happiness Is Under Your Control?

The researchers behind the original "happiness pie chart" share what they've learned in the past 15 years.

By Kira M. Newman

Do you know the happiness pie chart? If you’ve read a book or listened to a talk about happiness in the past 15 years, there’s a good chance you heard that 50 percent of our happiness is determined by our genes, 40 percent by our activities, and 10 percent by our life circumstances.

Neat and tidy, the pie chart—originally proposed in a 2005 paper by researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Kennon M. Sheldon, and David Schkade—painted a clear picture of what contributes to our well-being. Unfortunately for some of us, the chart suggested, the genes we got from our parents play a big role in how fulfilled we feel. But it also contained good news: By engaging in healthy mental and physical habits, we can still exert a lot of control over our own happiness.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 13, 2020

How to make the world happier – and why it should be our first priority

There is a wind of change in our society. People are talking about feelings. Even men are doing it. Relatively recently Prince William and Prince Harry talked for the first time about their mother’s death and how it affected their own mental health. All around there is a new undercurrent – a greater concern with our own inner life and with how other people feel. A new, gentler culture is emerging.

By contrast, the older culture, which still dominates, is altogether harsher. It is more focused on externals. It encourages people to aim above all at personal success: good grades, a good job, a good income and a desirable partner. This culture of striving has brought many blessings, and life today is probably as good as it has ever been in human history. But that culture also involves a lot of stress, and people wonder why – if we are now so much richer than previous generations – we are not a lot happier.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 9, 2020

True happiness isn’t about being happy all the time

Over the past two decades, the positive psychology movement has brightened up psychological research with its science of happiness, human potential and flourishing. It argues that psychologists should not only investigate mental illness but also what makes life worth living.

The founding father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, describes happiness as experiencing frequent positive emotions, such as joy, excitement and contentment, combined with deeper feelings of meaning and purpose. It implies a positive mindset in the present and an optimistic outlook for the future. Importantly, happiness experts have argued that happiness is not a stable, unchangeable trait but something flexible that we can work on and ultimately strive towards.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - December 21, 2019

What really matters at the end of life

At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it's simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a hospice and palliative medicine physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life.

Management QOL in the News - December 10, 2019

Positive Psychology in Action

Management QOL in the News - November 30, 2019

The happy secret to better work

We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.

Management QOL in the News - October 08, 2019

Total Well-Being: The Wellness Trend Of 2019

Remember when wellness was as simple as losing weight with the latest fad diet and a session of "8 Minute Abs?" While health regimens like these used to be quite popular, they can seem a bit superficial compared to today’s routines, which might involve serving your spirit at Soul Cycle and replenishing your energy with local, organic beet juice. As millennials move the marketplace towards trends like these, the health and wellness industry’s focus is shifting beyond merely beautifying our bodies and onto activities that heal us more deeply. As a result, in 2019 our collective vision of health will expand towards total well-being. With total well-being, wellness isn’t just about healing our bodies. It's about nourishing our minds, spirits, communities and environment through holistic practices that uplift everyone involved. We will begin to see more and more employers moving to support a paradigm of total well-being for their employees as well.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - August 03, 2019

Nicola Stugeon: Why governments should prioritize well-being

In 2018, Scotland, Iceland and New Zealand established the network of Wellbeing Economy Governments to challenge the acceptance of GDP as the ultimate measure of a country's success. In this visionary talk, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon explains the far-reaching implications of a "well-being economy" -- which places factors like equal pay, childcare, mental health and access to green space at its heart -- and shows how this new focus could help build resolve to confront global challenges.

Management QOL in the News - June 03, 2019

Steven Pinker: Enlightenment Now

Management QOL in the News - March 20, 2019

These Are the World’s Happiest (and Most Miserable) Countries

By Kati Pohjanpalo

Finland has topped a global happiness ranking for the second year in a row.

It beat Nordic peers Denmark, Norway and Iceland in a ranking of 156 countries by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The ranking saw the U.S. drop one place, to 19th, while people in South Sudan were the least happy.

The results are based on an average of three years of surveys taken by Gallup between 2016 and 2018 and include factors such as gross domestic product, social support from friends and family, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceived corruption and recent emotions -- both happy and sad.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 19, 2019

The global push to reinvent GDP

When GDP became the dominant measure of economies in the 1940s, the internet was still a half-century out. Today, the internet drives a major chunk of economic activity, but GDP misses much of it. This has widened the gap between the closely watched metric and actual economic health. Economists are working on alternative measures that they say will more correctly gauge national prosperity, accounting for relatively new industries, plus intangibles like income inequality and clean air and water. But the pace of technological advances may be enlarging the gap even as they work to close it.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - November 24, 2018

Estes Weighted Index of Social Progress

The Management Institute for Quality-of-Life Studies (MIQOLS) is pleased to announce the launch of the Weighted Index of Social Progress (WISP). The WISP is a quality-of-life metric innovation of Professor Richard J. Estes, Professor Emeritus of Social Work and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). Professor Estes has developed the WISP in the 1970s and has reported the quality of life on many countries and world regions since (from 1970s up to 2018) (see references to his publications regarding the WISP in http://www.miqols.org/toolbox/isp.html (click Show Sources).

Specifically, Professor Estes’ WISP is a composite index of quality of life at the country level. That is, the WISP index captures quality of life of the vast majority of the countries (countries that maintains social indicators data). The WISP consists of an overall composite score of each country (shown as an actual score varying from 0 to 100, ranks, and standard deviation from the mean). The overall index is made up of 10 subindices: education, health, women status, defense effort, economic, demography, environmental, social chaos, cultural cohesion, and welfare effort.

The Education Subindex is made up of four indicators: (1) Public Expenditures on Education as Percentage of GDP (+; i.e., the positive sign indicates that the higher the score the higher the quality of life); (2) Primary School Completion Rate (+); (3) Secondary School Net Enrollment Rate (+); and (4) Adult Literacy Rate (+).

The Health Subindex consists of six indicators: (1) Life Expectation at Birth (+); (2) Infant Mortality Rate (-; i.e., the negative sign indicates that the higher the score the lower the quality of life); (3) Under-Five Child Mortality Rate (-); (4) Physician Per 100,000 Population (+); Percent of Population Undernourished (-); and (6) Public Expenditure on Health as Percentage of GDP (+).

The Women Status Subindex consists of five indicators: (1) Female Adult Literacy as Percentage of Male Literacy (+); (2) Contraceptive Prevalence among Married Women (+); (3) Maternal Mortality Rate (-); (4) Female Secondary School Enrollment as Percentage of Male Enrollment (+); and (5) Seats in Parliament Held by Women as Percentage of Total (+).

The Defense Effort Subindex consists of one indicator, namely Military Expenditures as Percentage of GDP (-).

The Economic Subindex consists five indicators: (1) Per Capita Gross National Income as Measured by PPP (+); (2) Percent Growth in GDP (+); (3) Unemployment Rate (-); (4) Total External Debt as Percentage of GDP (-); and (6) GINI Index Score (-).

The Demography Subindex comprise three indicators: (1) Average Annual Rate of Population Growth (-); (2) Percent of Population Aged < 15 years (-); (3) Percent of Population Aged > 64 Years (+).

The Environmental Subindex has three indicators: (1) Percentage of Nationally Protected Area (+); (2) Average Annual Number of Disaster-Related Death (-); and (3) Per Capita Metric Tons of Carbon-Dioxide Emissions (-).

The Social Chaos Subindex has six indicators: (1) Violations of Political Rights (-); (2) Violations of Civil Liberties (-); (3) Number of Internally Displaced Persons Per 100,000 Population (-); (4) Number of Externally Displaced Person Per 100,000 Population (-); (5) Estimated Number of Deaths from Armed Conflicts (-); and (6) Perceived Corruption Index (-).

The Cultural Cohesion Subindex has three indicators: (1) Largest Percentage of Population Sharing the Same or Similar Racial/Ethnic Origins (+); (2) Largest Percentage of Population Sharing the Same or Similar Religious Beliefs (+); and (3) Largest Share of Population Sharing the Same Mother Tongue (+).

Finally, the Welfare Effort Subindex has five indicators: (1) Age First National Laws-Old Age, Invalidity & Death (+), (2) Age First National Laws-Sickness & Maternity (+); (3) Age First National Laws-Work Injury (+); (4) Age First National Laws-Unemployment (+); (5) Age First National Laws-Family Allowance (+).

Please visit the WISP metric on MIQOLS’ website at http://www.miqols.org/toolbox/isp.html and start using it for research and to guide public policy decisions at the national and international levels.

Management QOL in the News - October 25, 2018

23 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better

For most Americans, these feel like bleak times. We have a massively unpopular, scandal-plagued president whose aides are being convicted of serious federal felonies. Overt, old-fashioned racism is publicly visible and powerful in a way it wasn’t only five years ago. More than 200 admired, powerful men have been accused of sexual misconduct or assault.

This is all real, and truly alarming. But it would be a mistake to view that as the sum total of the world in 2018. Under the radar, some aspects of life on Earth are getting dramatically better. Extreme poverty has fallen by half since 1990, and life expectancy is increasing in poor countries — and there are many more indices of improvement like that everywhere you turn.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - October 19, 2018

Well-being in metrics and policy

Carol Graham, Kate Laffan, Sergio Pinto

This century is full of progress paradoxes, with unprecedented economic development and improvements in longevity, health, and literacy coexisting with climate change, persistent poverty in the poorest countries, and increasing income inequality and unhappiness in many wealthy ones. Economic growth and the traditional metrics used to assess it—particularly gross domestic product (GDP)—are necessary but not sufficient to guarantee growth that is inclusive and politically and socially sustainable. Well-being metrics, derived from large-scale surveys and questionnaires that capture the income and nonincome determinants of individual well-being, often provide a different picture of what is happening to people. These metrics can provide insight into policies to sustain human welfare in the future.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - October 2, 2018

What happened to the American Dream?

Q&A with "Happiness for All" author Carol Graham

The "American Dream"—one of the country’s most foundational principles—has long made a simple promise: Hard work leads to success. But what happens when large swaths of American society don’t buy into it? How do Americans really feel about growing levels of inequality? Carol Graham, the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and College Park Professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, uses economic metrics to explore these and other issues in her book Happiness for All? Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - September 24, 2018

The US Is the Only Wealthy Nation That's Becoming Less Livable: Report

The world remains a deeply unequal place, and as social progress accelerates in some countries, it’s stalling or even declining in others, according to the nonprofit the Social Progress Imperative.

Over the past four years, the world improved the most in terms of access to water and sanitation and basic nutrition, while social inclusiveness and access to higher education showed the most decline.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - September 21, 2018

Want to learn how to improve your life in just two days?

Find out how to get happy, take back control and achieve your dreams at The Best You Expo.

Read more here.

Good night’s sleep more important than a pay rise in making you happy, says study

Sleeping well has a far more profound impact on wellbeing than a significant pay rise, according to new research.

A survey of thousands of Britons by the Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research found that a healthy amount of sleep was the strongest indicator of living well.

Read more here.

Science says happier people have these 9 things in common

Everybody wants to be happy.

That's why the science of happiness has gained more attention in recent years —researchers have started to produce reports on happiness around the globe, and positive psychology, which focuses on what makes individuals and communities thrive, has skyrocketed in popularity.

At this point, we actually know a fair amount about how certain behaviours, attitudes, and choices relate to happiness, though most research on the topic can only find correlations.

Researchers think that roughly 40 percent of our happiness is under our own control; the rest is determined by genetics and external factors. That means there's a lot we can do to control our own happiness.

Read more here.

Mentoring can improve youths’ well-being

HUNTINGTON — After a recent in-depth study suggested girls across the country face challenges involving obesity, emotional health and economic conditions that have not improved, the Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council is being proactive in its approach to reverse the trend.

Read more here.

Buying Time Can Make You Happier Than Buying Things

We've all been told countless times that money can't buy happiness. But that's not entirely true. There is one commodity on the market that can promote a deep sense of well-being. That commodity is time.

Ashley V. Whillans, an assistant professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, has done a lot of research into what social scientists call "time famine." As the lead author in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2017, Whillans wrote that "people around the world are feeling increasingly pressed for time, undermining well-being." Despite rising incomes across many parts of the globe, she writes, "increases in wealth have produced an unintended consequence: a rising sense of time scarcity."

Read more here.

Are Friends the Key to Happiness?

Long-term studies show that close relationships are better predictors of well-being than almost anything else.

In the world of science, a longitudinal study is a research method in which the same group of subjects is observed and measured over a period of time. If there is one study that really puts the "long" in longitudinal, it's the Harvard Study of Adult Development. It has been providing data on the same group of men since 1938. There were 268 of them then – fewer than 20 are still alive – all Harvard sophomores, including future President John F. Kennedy and future Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. The goal of the study was to find out what factors lead to healthy and happy lives. And perhaps the biggest key to well-being, it has revealed, is having friends.

Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is the fourth director of the Harvard Study. "This is now the longest in-depth study of adult life we know of," he says. "Once we followed people into old age, then we could look back and find what we knew of them in their 40s and 50s that could predict being healthy and happy in their 70s and 80s."

Read more here.

In Pursuit of Happiness

Neuroscientist Dean Burnett dives deep into what makes us happy.

It's human nature to want to be happy, but people know relatively little about the science behind the emotion.

Scientists are only just beginning to grasp how the human brain processes emotion – the chemical processes and how they affect our thoughts and behaviors. What does it mean to be happy? And what's actually happening in people's brains when they are?

These are the questions neuroscientist Dean Burnett set out to explore in his new book, "Happy Brain: Where Happiness Comes From and Why," an attempt to understand one of humanity's most potent emotions.

Read more here.

6 Proven Ways to Bring Happiness to Your Life

Happiness is rooted in practices and behaviors.

The pursuit of happiness is guaranteed in our Constitution, but the Founding Fathers, sadly, failed to provide a path for achieving that elusive goal. Social scientists, thankfully, have stepped in. Research has continued to find that certain practices and behaviors consistently lead to greater levels of perceived happiness.

Read more here.

Money Can Actually Buy Some Happiness. But How Much?

David Lee Roth, the former singer for the band Van Halen, once acknowledged that money can't buy happiness. "But it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it," he added. That pretty much sums up the conundrum. Is there some point at which the separate scales of income and happiness cross?

If you are to believe recent research published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, the answer is yes – and that point is in the neighborhood of $60,000 to $75,000 a year per person.

Read more here.

The Many Ways Travel Is Good for Your Mental Health

Americans are notoriously hardworking, sometimes to the detriment of our own health. We take fewer vacations than most other countries in the developed world. We're much less likely to travel, as well. “The average U.S. citizen has been outside the country three times. In other countries, it’s more like a dozen times,” says Dr. Joshua A. Weiner, a psychiatrist practicing in McLean, Virginia.

Though there hasn’t been a lot of direct research into this, most experts agree that travel has powerful mental health benefits. “A lot is based on making reasonable conclusions based on other things we do know,” says Dr. John Denninger, a psychiatrist, expert on mind-body science and the director of research for the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. On balance, he says, travel is “absolutely” good for mental health.

Read more here.

The World's 10 Happiest Countries

Searching for happiness? You might want to head to Finland.

Finland has edged out Norway as the world's happiest country, according to the 2018 World Happiness Report, an annual global ranking of 156 countries by their happiness and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. The United Nations report released on Wednesday also found that Americans have gotten less happy even as the United States has grown in wealth. The report analyzes countries' happiness by income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, generosity and absence of corruption.

Read more here.

Health Buzz: The 10 Happiest Cities in America

Everyone wants to be happy. But according to research, you have a better shot at it in certain cities.

The happiest city in America is Fremont, California, followed by Bismarck, North Dakota, and San Jose, California, according to a new ranking from WalletHub. Four out of the top 10 cities are in California, with two in North Dakota and Texas, respectively.

WalletHub ranked the happiest cities in America – more than 180 – across three categories: emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, and community and environment. Each section examined various happiness indicators, including everything from depression rate to average leisure time per day to income-growth rate.

According to the report, the least happy city is Detroit, Michigan, with Huntington, West Virginia, and Birmingham, Alabama, rounding out the bottom three.

Read more here.

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