Not only is Utah one of the best places to own a home, but it also has the best area in the nation for overall well-being! This is great for a nice pat on the back, but what does this mean for you? How can you use this statistic to goBE happy? Lets look at why our area rated so high for well-being overall. Then we can determine what you can do personally to increase your well-being from living here.
The Gallup-Healthways Community Well-Being Rankings determined that Provo, UT has the highest score for overall well-being in the nation! Does that mean everyone will start calling it Happy Valley?
Gallup used six categories or indexes which are linked with well-being. The categories are life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors, work environment, and basic access. Let’s look at each of these 6 categories to see what you can do to goBE happy!
Want to join this happy community?
Increase Happiness through Life-Evaluation
Life-Evaluation – How would you describe your life overall? How do you see your life at this moment? Where would you like to be five years from now? These questions help determine your life-evaluation. We all live in the same world and, while our circumstances are different, our level of well-being is greatly impacted by the way we evaluate those circumstances. In other words your perception.
Healthy self-awareness is the ability to clearly see the present. Depressingly pessimistic individuals cannot see the good things that happen to them every day and their well-being will be impacted. Blind optimism can be equally harmful to your well-being because it impacts your ability to deal with real world problems. Finding the balance can be difficult, but the result will be greater happiness.
Here are 5 specific things you can do to improve your life-evaluation:
- Share 3 things you feel grateful for today
- Define how you will measure success for one of your goals
- Find a picture that represents 1 of your dreams or goals, share it
- Give yourself permission to explore a new goal
- Think about a famous quote you enjoy and relate it to your goals
goBE Happy with better Emotional Health
Emotional Health – While life-evaluation is how you see yourself, emotional health is how you FEEL about yourself. Some days you simply wake up on the wrong side of the bed and your emotional health is affected. Then there are other days when you feel jubilant and it seems nothing can bring you down. While these fluctuations are normal you can develop healthy habits that heighten your overall emotional health.
It is pretty obvious that good emotional health can positively affect every aspect of your life and well-being. The way you interact with others, the way you work, and what you think about on your own, are all tied to your emotional health. Those things that make you smile help you manage stress. If you know what those things are that make you laugh and smile, try to incorporate them more fully into your life. Set time aside each day to do something you enjoy.
Here are 5 specific things you can do to improve your emotional health:
- Find a club or group with common interests
- Serve someone close to you with a quick message of affection or small gift
- Stop and recognize your emotions 3 different times throughout the day
- Treat yourself to 1 small indulgence today
- Express gratitude to someone for 3 different things they’ve done for you
Improving your Well-Being through Physical Health
Physical Health – This is how well your body functions on a daily basis. In general what is your energy level? Do you have any chronic pain or conditions that impact your physical activity? Good physical health is at the core of happy living. When you are physically healthy you can spend more energy on the things you enjoy because you have more energy to do them. When you have the stamina to take care of your self, family, and career you have more to help others.
Millions of books, blogs, and Pinterest boards have been dedicated to improving your physical health. While the next category (healthy behaviors) focusses on becoming more fit, physical health emphasizes staying healthy. That means taking the appropriate steps to prevent illness, disease, and injury that could hinder you.
Here are 5 specific things you can do to jumpstart your physical health.
- Before each bite, focus on the sight and smell of your food
- Substitute a natural method of cleaning or hygiene
- Trade your evening sweet for a sleep-promoting snack like a banana or yogurt
- Ask someone else to share in a physical activity that you enjoy
- End your “screen time” at least 1 hour before bed
Healthy Behaviors Increase Your Happiness
Healthy Behaviors – these behaviors are the little things you do every day that impact your health. This includes eating habits, if you smoke, and how often you exercise. These little habits can help prevent heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some kinds of cancers. These healthy behaviors will help improve your mood, improve your sleep, and increase your energy. You know how much happier you are when those are improved!
Whether you decide to eat healthier, quit smoking, get better sleep, or start a new exercise routine, you have to be consistent to see results. Any positive change you make in your health habits will improve your health. The degree of that improvement, and how long you keep it, is determined by your consistency.
Have you seen a movie where the main character listens to an up-tempo song, does an exercise montage, and get’s in shape in 1 minute? Well guess what, those are almost always filmed in reverse. Do you want to know why? Because it takes longer to get into shape then it does to get out of shape. The actor will spend months getting into tip-top shape to film those final scenes, then simply stop exercising for the other parts of the movie. It is not a minute-montage that will change your health, but developing healthy habits.
Here are 5 specific healthy behaviors you can try today:
- Try making your own Greek yogurt using low-fat yogurt and cheesecloth
- Improve your balance by standing heel to toe (as though you’re on a balance beam), hold for a count of 10, then switch feet and repeat.
- Park further away from the store or office
- Pour imaginary pitchers 8 times to build shoulder strength and range of movement
- Release tension in your entire body with 3 overhead stretches
Finding Well-Being in your Work Environment
Work Environment – Your home can be the happiest place on earth, but a miserable workplace will hinder your overall well-being. Work environment deals with your overall job satisfaction. This includes the fulfillment you get from doing your job as well as the relationships you have with coworkers. A positive environment that offers respect, taps into your strongest skills, and values your contributions will increase happiness and help you to thrive and enjoy the work you do.
Your work environment can be improved by focusing on two things: your self and your environment. How can you get more satisfaction from your work? Does it require a career change (environment) or changing the way you work (self). If you don’t like the relationships (or lack ther of) with your current co-workers you can get another job or change your behaviors to attract more interaction. Whether its organizing your work space or developing new skills, you can change you can enhance your well-being by improving your work environment.
Here are 5 specific things you can try to improve your work environment
- Create a list of the top 5 things you need to do in the next 7 days
- Keep notebook or phone app for jotting down important points from your conversations
- Save time on a future chore by spending 2-minutes to clean your workspace each day
- List 2 events that would keep you from working, then strategize how you would deal with them
- Spend 5 minutes with a trash bag in your hand and find as many things as you can to throw away or recycle
Get Access to Basic Needs to Improve Happiness
Basic Access – looks at your environment and availability of the essential things you need to thrive. This includes health care and nutritious food. It also includes living in a safe and satisfying location with financial resources to access those essentials. Just as with Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, you have basic needs that must be met before you can be happy. Not only do these essentials need to be available, they must be accessible to provide you any benefit.
Your financial situation has a large impact on basic access. Can you afford food, housing, healthcare, and safety? You can boost your access to needs by improving your ability to afford these needs. Many communities also have opportunities for you to get these needs at a discounted rate or in exchange. You can improve your access both in your home and in the community.
Here are 5 specific things you can do to improve your access to basic needs:
- Turn down the hot water heater in the home to ensure safe bathing temperatures
- Write down 1 long-term financial goal that does not involve saving
- Find a volunteer opportunity in your community
- Spend 5 minutes getting to know the pharmacy hours near your home (in case of emergency)
- Re-stock your emergency kit with new supplies
Ready to goBE Happy?
As you can see, if you take the right steps you can increase your sense of well-being anywhere. If you want help you can join the Me You Health Daily Challenge. To join America’s happiest community I can help you find and purchase a home in Provo. Click here to search all Provo Homes for sale.
Together we can keep the community thriving, and together we can goBE Happy!