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Management QOL in the News - April 10, 2024

The vorfreude secret: 30 zero-effort ways to fill your life with joy

By Rachel Dixon

Be honest: there are times when you have felt schadenfreude, or “delight in another’s misfortunes”. But what about vorfreude? I recently came across this lovely word, which my German-speaking friend translated as “the anticipation of joy”. It struck me as such a hopeful concept – surely we could all do with less schadenfreude and more vorfreude. So what exactly is anticipatory joy, how do we cultivate it and will it make us happier?

“The idea is to find joy in the lead-up to an event,” says Sophie Mort, a clinical psychologist and mental health expert at the meditation and mindfulness app Headspace. “For example, we often feel joy and excitement when planning a trip, thinking about going on a date or anticipating a special meal.” It’s easy to look forward to holidays and special occasions, but a joy-filled life is also about everyday occurrences. Rory Platt, a writer at the personal development company The School of Life, says: “The trick lies in filling our calendar with lots of little moments to look forward to – like tiny baubles that, when seen from a distance, combine to make a more glittering future.”

But vorfreude is not about wishing your life away and thinking you will be happy in an imagined future. “Looking forward to something can trigger joy in the present moment,” says Karen Neil, a health coach and the founder of Mindful Medicine. This can boost your mood, reduce your stress levels and help to avoid burnout. A 2017 study published in Frontiers of Psychology found that anticipating positive events activated the brain’s medial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with a higher level of wellbeing.

Read full article here.

22 Small Things That People Say Made Them Drastically Happier

By Brittany Wong

When homing in on how to be happier, it’s easier to concentrate on all the negatives you need to eliminate in your life: Toxic positivity, comparing yourself to others, those weekly phone calls from your mother-in-law.

Weeding out unpleasant things can help, but it’s just as important to take an additive approach and think of small things you could add to your life to boost your spirits. With that in mind, we recently asked our readers to share the one thing they started doing daily (or in some cases weekly) that made them considerably happier.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - April 6, 2024

4 key ingredients to happiness, according to scientists and our readers

By Ryan Fonseca

Last month, we posed some simple questions to Essential California readers: Are you happy? What makes you happy? Could the government help make you happier?

State lawmakers are also wondering how they can make you happier and recently held the first hearing of the state Assembly’s Select Committee on Happiness and Public Policy Outcomes. The committee, chaired by Rep. Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), wants to understand how happiness could be used as a metric to shape public policy in the Golden State.

The key ingredients to a happy life aren’t mysterious or complex.

According to international research (yes, there are happiness scientists out there) those who feel a greater sense of safety, freedom, mobility and community and have strong relationships are more likely to be happy.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - April 3, 2024

Isolated Indigenous people as happy as wealthy western peers – study

By Rupert Neate

People living in remote Indigenous communities are as happy as those in wealthy developed countries despite having “very little money”, according to new scientific research that could challenge the widely held perception that “money buys happiness”.

Researchers who interviewed 2,966 people in 19 Indigenous and local communities across the world found that on average they were as happy – if not happier – as the average person in high-income western countries.

Read full article here.

How practicing persistence can boost your happiness, productivity, and energy

By Jordyn Bradley

Research points to the power of motivation to boost the brain’s response to anything. Motivation lowers activation energy, the amount of energy it takes to begin a task, and boosts overall energy, enhancing the rewards of your effort. The brawny brain becomes a happier brain, too.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 29, 2024

How your future self can help your present well-being

By Stacey Colino

We’ve all had moments when we wished we could say, “Beam me up, Scotty!”

This desire to be in a better place or time is related to a psychological strategy called temporal distancing. Imagining ourselves in the future is a way to cope with the stress and anxiety of the present.

“Just because time travel takes place inside our heads doesn’t mean it can’t change reality,” said Hal Hershfield, a professor of marketing, behavioral decision-making and psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles’s Anderson School of Management and author of the book “Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today.” “How you think about your future can have a huge impact on your present and future selves.”

Read full article here.

5 Things You Should Do First Thing In The Morning To Be Happier All Day

By Catherine Pearson

Mornings can be rough for many people who tend to feel sleepy pretty regularly, which in turn makes them report feeling irritable a lot of the time. And yes, it’s hard to feel cheery when you’re overtired and stressed — much of which, alas, is outside of people’s control.

But happiness experts say there are simple habits people can practice in the morning that will that have a profound influence on how they feel throughout the day. They’re easy tweaks that can help improve overall mental well-being.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 24, 2024

These ‘Pathways to Hope’ Can Improve Your Mental Health

By Anna Lee Beyer

If experiencing a mental health problem were plotted like a line on a graph, it might look like a low-level shallow wave, or a dramatic fall and rise with a few roller coaster bumps scattered in between. When people who have made it through a mental health struggle describe their experience, there is often an inflection point when something “clicked” and they started to feel better.

In her book Little Treatments, Big Effects, clinical psychology professor and therapist Dr. Jessica Schleider writes about her research into single-session interventions for mental health care. Through surveying and interviewing 98 people and analyzing their stories, Schleider identified five “pathways to hope”—elements from stories of mental health recovery that represented the turning point from struggling to wellness:

  • Surprising yourself
  • Feeling seen
  • Seeing others
  • Reclaiming your narrative
  • Giving back

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 22, 2024

These are the world’s happiest countries in 2024

By Marnie Hunter

The World Happiness Report is out, and once again Nordic countries are humming along with the highest scores. The No. 1 country, Finland, has held onto its top ranking for seven years straight.

This year’s report is the first to include separate rankings by age group, and it brings bad news about life satisfaction among young people in some parts of the world.

Happiness has dropped so sharply among the young in North America that young people there are now less happy than the old. Those low scores helped push the United States out of the top 20 on the overall list for the first time since the report was first published in 2012.

But the US and other countries dropping in rank was also because other nations – especially several in Eastern Europe – had welcome gains in happiness.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 15, 2024

Lawmakers want to help California be happy

By Lynn La

Can California legislate its way to happiness?

Former Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is committed to trying, though he puts his own happiness at only two out of 10 (ask him again after November, when his term ends, he told CalMatters).

After being forced to hand over his leadership post last summer, the Lakewood Democrat became the chairperson of the newly formed Select Committee on Happiness and Public Policy Outcomes, telling Politico last October that lawmakers “don’t take happiness seriously.”

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 13, 2024

The eight 'happiness hacks' backed by science (including one you're almost guaranteed to hate)

By Emily Stearn

When you're feeling a bit down, striking up conversations with strangers might be the last thing on your mind.

But such encounters may actually make you feel happier, research has suggested.

It is one of eight simple 'happiness hacks' devised by scientists at the University of Bristol.

Writing gratitude letters, conducting acts of kindness and trying out meditation are among other key measures found to improve mental wellbeing.

The four other checkpoints relate to getting sufficient sleep, exercising, savouring experiences and drawing attention to positive parts of the day, for instance writing down 'three good things' that happened.

Read full article here.

Many of the world’s happiest countries are also the best for women, research shows—here’s why

By Morgan Smith

Some of the world's happiest countries are also the most gender-equal.

Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and New Zealand all appear in the top 10 of two key rankings: The World Happiness Report's annual list of the happiest countries in the world and the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report, which ranks the world's most gender-equal countries.

While neither report has been updated since 2023, these countries have been leading the world toward achieving gender equality and boosting residents' happiness for years, ranking high on both lists since at least 2018.

Read full article here.

Use these 4 steps to break the cycle of unhappiness, wellness expert says

By Renée Onque

We're all looking for ways to be happier, but it's just not that easy. It's not impossible either if you know the steps to take to get there.

"The biggest misconception is that happiness is natural, and there really couldn't be anything further from the truth," Floyd "Ski" Chilton, director of the Center for Precision, Nutrition and Wellness at the University of Arizona, tells CNBC Make It.

Chilton is also an evolutionary biochemist and geneticist, as well as the author of "There is Another Way to Happiness: The Four Step CAST Process that Will Transform Your Life."

Our unconscious minds are "built for protection" and "survival" from an evolutionary standpoint, according to Chilton. But we're no longer hunters and gatherers, protecting our loved ones from the whims of the wild in a literal sense; still our thoughts naturally drift to fear and anxiety as they did when that was the case.

"Almost every sad and difficult emotion that we feel, our anxiety that we feel, our stress that we feel, can be traced back to this evolutionarily primitive, unconscious mind," he adds. "In many cases, we're living in the midst of a nightmare, a nightmare that our unconscious minds create."

To combat these instincts, you must make conscious efforts to rewire your brain, Chilton says. Here are four steps you can take to break the cycle of unhappiness. Use these 4 steps to break the cycle of unhappiness

  1. Consciousness
  2. Awareness
  3. Surrender
  4. Trust

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 7, 2024

Five Teachings of the Dalai Lama I Try to Live By

By Arthur C. Brooks

In a world full of intractable problems such as war and poverty, one tempting response—as a way of protecting your own happiness—is to stop paying attention. With good reason: Just following the news can invite a sense of powerlessness and be associated with lower mental well-being, and one of the reasons folks avoid the news is the anticipation of anxiety, perhaps because the bulk of what you see and hear is negative. On top of that, the national and global problems that the media report are out of your control. Only those with power, wealth, and influence seem to have the capacity to address those problems and the potential to make our world better. So unless you are a political hero, a world-famous entrepreneur, or a charismatic celebrity, you might as well tune out.

Although this way of looking at things follows a certain logic, it’s the wrong way to see the world. In fact, each of us has the power to address global problems in an effective way, without waiting for a powerful savior. This is a truth I learned, ironically, from one of the most influential men on the planet: the Dalai Lama.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 5, 2024

No equality for working women in any country in the world, study reveals

By Kaamil Ahmed

No country in the world affords women the same opportunities as men in the workforce, according to a new report from the World Bank, which found the global gender gap was far wider than previously thought.

Closing the gap could raise global gross domestic product by more than 20%, said the report.

For the first time, the bank investigated the impact of childcare and safety policies on women’s participation in the labour market in 190 countries. It found that when these two factors were taken into account, women on average enjoyed just 64% of the legal protections men do, down from the previous estimate of 77%.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - March 2, 2024

An act of generosity is one of the 'quickest and easiest ways to get happier'—here's why

By Renée Onque

Buying someone a coffee or holding the door open for the person behind you are examples of one of the simplest ways to increase your happiness: generosity.

Consider the joy that Ruth Gottesman brought to current and future students of Albert Einstein College of Medicine with her $1 billion donation that will help them receive a tuition-free education. Research shows that that happiness is also likely to extend to Gottesman.

"l feel blessed to be given the great privilege of making this gift to such a worthy cause," Gottesman said, according to CNBC.

"One of the quickest and easiest ways to get happier is to be generous," Dan Harris said in a recent episode of his podcast, "Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris."

In a small study of 50 people, published in 2017 in Nature Communications, participants were gifted a total of $100 over several weeks. Half of the group was instructed to spend the money on anything they wanted for themselves, and the other half was asked to use the money to buy things for other people.

By the end of the experiment, those who spent the money on others reported higher levels of happiness than those who spent it on themselves.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 29, 2024

How does gut-brain communication affect emotional well-being?

By Andrei Ionescu

Recent advancements from Flinders University have initiated a significant reevaluation of the operational mechanisms behind antidepressants and other emotion-regulating drugs, highlighting the intricate communication between the gut and the brain.

The research introduces a notable shift in understanding the gut-brain axis, a complex network facilitating bidirectional neural interactions between the gastrointestinal system and the brain’s emotional and cognitive centers.

“The gut-brain axis consists of a complex bidirectional neural communication pathway between the brain and the gut, which links emotional and cognitive centers of the brain,” said lead author Nick Spencer, a professor at the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 26, 2024

Happiness researcher: The exact blueprint that will help you achieve your biggest career goal

By Stephanie Harrison

Whether it's starting a business or mastering an ambitious skill, having big career goals can be exciting but overwhelming. How do you successfully achieve them while navigating the demands and responsibilities of daily life?

I know the feeling. My dream was to write a book. It took me over 10 years, but this spring, I'm finally publishing my first book: "New Happy."

As a researcher in the science of happiness, I was lucky: I was able to learn the secrets that helped me make my journey a little easier.

Read full article here.

I've lived in the Netherlands for 14 years—why we're always ranked one of the world's happiest countries

By Olga Mecking

I was born in Poland and grew up in Germany, but my family and I have been living in the Netherlands for the last 14 years.

When I first discovered the concept of "niksen," or the Dutch art of doing nothing, I was fascinated. I even wrote a book about it. When I applied it to my own life, my perspective about happiness shifted in a significant way.

I believe niksen is one of the reasons why the Dutch are consistently ranked as some of the happiest people in the world. Niksen might seem selfish or boring at first glance, but it's actually a service to you and your community.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 17, 2024

Train Yourself To Be Happy: 4 Coachable Parts of Your Mental Health

By Erica Gerald Mason

Taking care of your mental health through daily actions—just like you would take care of your body by eating fruits and vegetables—may be the path forward through challenging times. A new framework suggests that mental well-being can be cultivated through practice in daily life. Essentially, we can train our brains to be happy.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison hope the new framework can help define well-being, and the parts of it that they've found can be improved with training. The December paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The paper acknowledges a lack of industry standards for well-being, which in turn creates a lack of common language between therapists. The researchers argue that using consistent language can help healthcare professionals with both patient outreach and research.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 16, 2024

Journal Your Way to Happiness: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life — Shape

By Pat Richter

Is "thankful, grateful, blessed" more than just wall art? Turns out, expressing gratitude in writing could actually make you happier.

Read full article here.

The Benefits of Gratitude Rituals and How to Add Them to Your Day

By Jessica Cording

Many of us were raised to say thank you, which, yes, is an expression of gratitude, but it runs deeper than that. Gratitude can be understood as acknowledging and affirming the positive things in your life; taking a moment to appreciate the good.

A gratitude ritual is a practice through which you tap into gratitude. There are so many different types of gratitude rituals to try.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 14, 2024

3 crucial ways to make yourself happier, according to a psychologist from Finland—the happiest country in the world

By Ashton Jackson

For six years and counting, Finland has been the happiest country in the world.

But it's a common misconception to think the people there are simply born with a positive outlook on life, says Frank Martela, a Finnish psychology researcher and philosopher. "It would be more accurate to say that Finland is the country that has the least unhappy people in the world," Martela tells CNBC Make It.

That's largely due to three tenets, common in Finnish society, that help foster happiness, Martela says:

  1. A strong sense of community and relatedness
  2. Doing good deeds for other people
  3. Finding a clear purpose for oneself

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 12, 2024

Bill Gates: Here's the 1 question I'd ask a time traveler about the future

By Tom Huddleston Jr.

If Bill Gates met a time traveler from the year 2100, his first question wouldn't be about his family, or Microsoft's stock price.

Instead, he'd ask: Are humans thriving? "In the end, it's all measured through human welfare," Gates said on the most recent episode of his podcast, "Unconfuse Me."

In the episode, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder interviewed University of Oxford data scientist Hannah Ritchie, whose book "Not the End of the World" offers an optimistic take on how the world can win its battle against climate change.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - February 04, 2024

This Is The Age You're Happiest And Most Self-Confident

By Lindsay Holmes

We know that wisdom comes with age ― and apparently so do a number of other joyful qualities.

Research shows that the older you get, the more self-assured and content you are. In fact, those in their 60s are more likely to be happier and, according to a recent study, they’re also more self-confident overall than most of those in their younger decades.

So, what’s the secret? Sadly, there’s no one answer, but rather several factors.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - January 26, 2024

Use this tool to better prioritize your happiness, expert says: 'Think about time strategically'

By Aditi Shrikant

The first step of building a new financial budget is usually taking a detailed account of what you are spending. Recording where resources are being allocated is key to understanding what exactly you need to shift about your habits.

The same can be said if you want to change how you prioritize your time as it pertains to personal goals, says Rainer Strack, senior partner emeritus at Boston Consulting Group.

Far too often, our priorities don't align with how we spend our hours and days.

"Time is the only asset that we can't multiply," Strack tells CNBC Make It. "Time is limited here on Earth. It's a scarce resource, and therefore, you have to understand what you want to do with this kind of resource, concretely."

To help you see exactly where your time is going, Strack, Susanne Dyrchs, associate director at BCG, and Allison Bailey, senior partner and managing director at BCG, created a 2 x 2 matrix called the Strategic Life Portfolio. It mirrors BCG's growth-share matrix.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - January 7, 2024

These quick, simple acts of kindness can boost your health, happiness and wellbeing

By Amy Arthur

It’s World Kindness Day, when people are encouraged to make kindness the norm and commit to being kinder all year round. But, what benefits does kindness have on our body and mind? We look into the science of kindness and why being kind makes you feel good.

Why be kind?

It seems obvious to say that being in receipt of kindness makes a person feel good. But can the benefits of a kind act compare to other pleasurable experiences? Can kindness offer as many benefits as a hearty meal or a gift on one’s birthday?

While a kind act can’t provide you with any calories, it’s not simply a throwaway experience. When someone is surprisingly kind to you – a stranger holds an elevator door open, your coffee is ‘on the house’ – the kind act triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, an area known as the brain’s pleasure centre.

One of the largest studies into kindness and its effects on a population showed that people who regularly receive kindness have higher levels of overall wellbeing. The Kindness Test, which was carried out in 2021, involved more than 60,000 participants and also showed that carrying out kind acts had benefits for wellbeing. Whether you’re giving or receiving kindness, you’re likely to feel better.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - December 25, 2023

6 Simple Strategies for Glowing Skin and a Happy Mind

By Iris Goldsztajn

Daily gratitude has been one of the most popular and well-documented wellness practices of the past few years. Stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington, and Michelle Obama all practice gratitude regularly; the hashtag #gratitude has four billion views on TikTok; and there’s study after study that shows how giving thanks for the good things in your life can enhance your health and happiness.

Sounds good, right? But what if you feel like there’s no time for you to incorporate yet another practice into your routine? If you’re someone who’s really consistent with your daily beauty routine, we have good news for you: You can actually add gratitude to your beauty routine with the magic of “habit stacking,” AKA fitting healthy habits into your day by coupling them with things you already do habitually. Even better? Because gratitude has so many mental health benefits, it’s also bound to trickle down into your skin health. By helping you reduce stress, practicing daily gratitude as part of your beauty routine can leave you feeling and looking glowy as ever.

Read full article here.

Three Ways to Lessen Financial Stress and Create Work-Life Balance in 2024

By Kelli Kiemle

Is work-life balance attainable, or is it an unrealistic goal to set?

According to the Forbes Health-Ipsos Monthly Health Tracker, 90% of employed respondents noted that “work-life balance is an important aspect of their job.”

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - December 24, 2023

The 15 Best Places to Live in the US

By Amelia Mularz

Each year U.S. News & World Report releases a list of the Best Places to Live in the US. These top-rated cities always include a few big players, like Boston and San Francisco, as well as some surprises, like Green Bay, Wisconsin, landing the #1 spot. To determine the best cities, U.S. News considers a multitude of factors, including quality of life, the local job market, value for your money, and the place’s desirability. And while we agree that all these factors are important in determining where to live in America, we’d also throw access to art and design into the mix. That’s why we used the U.S. News list as a jumping off point—zeroing in on the top 75 and picking the 15 best places to live for design lovers.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - December 23, 2023

CBS News poll looks at where Americans find happiness

By Anthony Salvanto

All year long, Americans have described for us the problems they see — and there is indeed a lot of tough news out there.

But with the holiday season here, we thought we'd also give them a chance to say what's going well in their lives and what they're grateful for. And for many people, there's plenty of gratitude and happiness.

We say we generally feel happy.

Well, most of us feel this way, anyway — at least fairly happy, if not very happy.

Reported happiness is related to how people think things are going with their family, their children, their health and to an extent — particularly for younger people — with their jobs and careers.

Those who think things are going well with their family lives are far more likely to report general happiness.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - December 18, 2023

Harvard happiness expert: The No. 1 thing to avoid to achieve a 'real sense of satisfaction'

By Renée Onque

It's easy to think that true happiness and satisfaction can only be achieved by accomplishing major goals, but that's far from the truth, according to Arthur C. Brooks, a social scientist and professor at Harvard University who teaches a free course about happiness.

"A lot of people think that once they learn their skills, once they're set in life that everything will be okay, but that's a fallacy that we call in my business, 'The Arrival Fallacy,'" Brooks said during the CNBC Work Summit 2023 this month.

The premise of the arrival fallacy is that once you accomplish a certain thing, you'll automatically be happier and more satisfied with your life, Brooks said.

Some examples of the accomplishments that people think will get them the satisfaction they're looking for, according to Brooks, include:

  • Securing a high-paying job or financial stability
  • Getting married
  • Buying the house they've always wanted
  • Losing a certain amount of weight

Regardless of what that destination is for you, Brooks said you should avoid the arrival fallacy and embrace change in order to really be happy.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - December 11, 2023

New Study Reveals The Personality Traits Associated With Dementia Risk

By Jillian Wilson

New research found a link between a negative affect and dementia risk.

Could your personality affect your memory?

A recent meta-analysis published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, found a connection between certain personality traits and the risk of dementia. The data was made up of eight smaller studies, totaling 44,531 people age 49 to 81. Of the group, 1,703 people developed dementia. Participants took part in personality assessments and underwent brain examinations after they died.

Researchers compared dementia diagnoses with the “big five” personality traits, which are agreeableness, openness, extroversion, conscientiousness and neuroticism. They also compared diagnoses in people who had either a positive affect (a personality that leans more toward positive traits like joy, enthusiasm and confidence) and negative affect (someone who tends to have more emotions like anger, nervousness and fear).

People who had high levels of neuroticism and those with negative affect “had a higher risk of developing dementia over the long term,” said Dr. Joel Salinas, a clinical assistant professor of neurology at NYU Langone Health and the chief medical officer of Isaac Health, who was not affiliated with the study.

“And then those who had low levels of conscientiousness, extroversion and that positive affect ... [were] tied to an increase of risk as well,” Salinas added.

Conversely, researchers found that people with a positive affect or personality traits including extroversion and conscientiousness had a lower risk of developing the disease. Those who are extroverted have a more robust social life and get energy from being around others; someone who is conscientious is considered responsible, organized and goal-oriented.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - November 29, 2023

Can money buy happiness? 60% of Americans say yes — and the price tag is $1.2 million

By Jessica Dickler

At a time when many households feel financially strained, some say you can put a price on happiness. And that number is $1.2 million.

According to Empower's Financial Happiness report, 60% of Americans said money can buy happiness and achieving a certain net worth is key to contentment.

With record high credit card debt, a declining personal savings rate and more than half of adults living paycheck to paycheck, Americans now say they would need to earn $284,167 a year to be happy, the Empower report found.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - November 15, 2023

Women are outliving men by nearly six years—and COVID and drug overdoses are a major cause, according to a new report

By Lori Youmshajekian

Women have outlived men for more than a century in the U.S. Demographers have largely attributed this well-known statistical gap to differences in behaviors in areas such as smoking and drinking habits, risk of injury and drug use. Overall U.S. life expectancy had been slowly improving for decades, but data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show some of this progress has recently been overturned—especially among men.

In 2010 women were projected to live 4.8 years longer than men. By 2021 this gap widened to 5.8 years, the largest disparity since 1996. During the 20th century, heart disease was the main cause of death that created the difference in life expectancy among women and men. But now COVID fatalities and a growing number of drug overdoses among men are to blame, according to a new analysis of CDC data published in JAMA Internal Medicine. (The report designated gender based on binary gender data that were recorded in death certificates.)

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - November 8, 2023

Ways to Extend Your Healthy Years, Not Just Your Life

By Lydia Denworth

Over the past century the average life expectancy in developed countries has increased by 30 years, from roughly age 50 to 80. Vaccines, sanitation, antibiotics, and other advances allow many more people to survive infectious diseases that used to kill them during childhood. (In the U.S., though, the span dropped by nearly three years during the COVID pandemic, a testament to the power of infections to shorten lives.)

Longer life spans overall have been a public health success. But they have also created a new and important gap: healthspans, usually defined as the period of life free of chronic disease or disability, do not always match longevity.

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - October 21, 2023

If you use any of these 6 phrases every day, you're 'genuinely happier' than most: Happiness experts

By Leslie Richardson and Neil Pasricha

Happiness is a choice, but that doesn't mean it's easy. When we're stuck in a constant loop of fear and negativity, it can be tough to cultivate a positive mindset.

As leaders at the Institute for Global Happiness, we're constantly thinking about the small, intentional things we can all do to make our communities more positive, content and resilient.

Often, it starts with how we speak to others, and to ourselves. If you use any of these six phrases every day, you're genuinely happier than most:

  1. "I get to..."
  2. "What was your rose?"
  3. "Tell me more…"
  4. "... yet."
  5. "Will this matter a year from now?"
  6. "I will focus on…...

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - October 7, 2023

The No. 1 key to a happier, longer life—'that younger people don't' know, according to the oldest and 'wisest' Americans

By Shane Parrish

I once interviewed Karl Pillemer, the Cornell sociologist and author of "30 Lessons for Living: Tired and True Advice from the Wisest Americans." He'd seen numerous studies showing that people in their 70s, 80s, and beyond were far happier than younger people.

He was intrigued: "I keep meeting older people — many of whom had lost loved ones, been through tremendous difficulties, and had serious health problems — but who nevertheless were deeply fulfilled and enjoying life. I found myself asking: 'What's that all about?'"

It occurred to him that maybe they see and understand things that younger people don't. But to Pillemer's surprise, no one had conducted a study on what practical advice older people had for the next generations.

That set him off a seven-year quest.

Their No. 1 lesson for a longer, happier life: Time is finite, don't spend it regretting things

Read full article here.

Management QOL in the News - October 5, 2023

Nothing Defines America’s Social Divide Like a College Education

By Yascha Mounk

Inequality is one of the great constants. But what sets those at the top of society apart from those at the bottom has varied greatly. In some times and places, it was race; in others, “noble” birth. In some, physical strength; in others, manual dexterity. In America today, most of these factors still matter. The country is racially unequal. Some people inherit great wealth; others become celebrities through sporting prowess.

But much of America’s transformation in recent decades—including many of the country’s problems—can be ascribed to the ascendancy of a different marker of distinction: education. Whether or not you have graduated from college is especially important. This single social marker now determines much more than it did in the past what sort of economic opportunities you are likely to have and even how likely you are to get married.

Educational status doesn’t only influence how Americans live, though. As a new set of papers from the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton shows, educational status has now overtaken other metrics, including race, in predicting one of the most important socioeconomic outcomes you can imagine: how long you get to live.

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Management QOL in the News - October 1, 2023

Psychology expert shares the 2,000-year-old Korean mindset that can help you live a 'happier life'

By Dr. Jihee Cho

"Jeong" is a concept that has been an integral part of Korean culture and society for over 2,000 years. It translates to deep feelings of attachment, and it can happen between anyone and anything, including objects and places.

Based on the mindset that we all have a collective social responsibility, jeong primarily evolves through shared experiences. When you develop feelings of jeong for someone, you want to protect and help them.

We all crave love and connection. But when we are so caught up in the strict relational boundaries of the daily grind, we can fail to notice opportunities for jeong to take place.

As a Korean psychologist, I often introduce my patients to jeong to help them create a stronger sense of community. Practicing it daily can lead to a happier life.

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Management QOL in the News - September 30, 2023

This is the happiest job in the world, according to new research: 'You get to see the fruits of your labor'

By Morgan Smith

You won't find the happiest workers in the world toiling away at desks or crunching numbers — chances are, they're working outside.

Construction workers have the highest levels of self-reported happiness of any major industry category, according to a new analysis by BambooHR.

The HR software platform analyzed data from more than 57,000 employees at over 1,600 companies across the globe between January 2020 and June 2023.

While employee happiness overall has fluctuated over the past three years, construction workers' happiness scores have remained consistently high, largely thanks to rising wages and plentiful job opportunities, the report notes.

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Management QOL in the News - September 29, 2023

Psychotherapist shares the No. 1 rule highly successful people follow to be happier at work: 'It's non-negotiable'

By Morgan Smith

You can't always find happiness in the confines of a 9 to 5 job — but if you can find meaning in what you do, or at least learn to tolerate it, the benefits are endless.

According to Wharton psychologist Adam Grant, employees who understand their work has a meaningful, positive impact on others are not just happier than those who don't; they're more productive, too.

Research shows that raises and promotions are more common among people who find their work meaningful. What's more, the studies found, these workers tend to be more resilient, motivated and harder working than their peers.

In other words, your happiness at work is a key factor in your success.

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Management QOL in the News - September 22, 2023

Americans say this is the No. 1 most important factor to live a fulfilling life—it's not making a lot of money

By Kamaron McNair

Having a job you like may not just make the day-to-day easier, it also seems to improve your overall life satisfaction.

Americans say having a career you enjoy is the most important factor to living a fulfilled life, according to a new study from Pew Research. Over 70% of respondents say having a job or career they enjoy is an extremely important factor to living a fulfilling life. Just 24% of people said having a lot of money is equally important.

Here's the percentage of Americans who say each element is extremely or very important to living a fulfilling life, according to Pew Research:

  • Having a job or career they enjoy: 71%
  • Having close friends: 61%
  • Having children: 26%
  • Having a lot of money: 24%
  • Being married: 23%

Still, money may make it easier for you to obtain the things that ultimately bring you fulfillment, and 49% of Americans agree having a lot of money is "somewhat important" to living a fulfilled life.

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Management QOL in the News - September 21, 2023

The No. 1 employer for happy and fulfilled workers is a truck stop and convenience store chain

By Jennifer Liu

The company where workers feel most happy, fulfilled and stress-free can be seen from any given highway coast to coast.

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, the truck stop and convenience store chain, was rated the No. 1 company for employee well-being, according to a new report from Indeed.

Love's was recognized as part of the job search site's inaugural Better Work Awards, where it gathered anonymous employee reviews from July 2022 to July 2023 to determine the businesses that stand out for worker well-being. Indeed based the awards on employee ratings focused on four aspects related to worker well-being: happiness, purpose, satisfaction and stress.

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Utah is the happiest state in America—California and Florida didn't make the top 3

By Celia Fernandez

If moving to Finland, the happiest country in the world, isn't an option, you might want to consider some locations right here in the U.S.

WalletHub recently released its annual ranking of the happiest states in America. To determine where Americans are the happiest, the personal finance website compared the 50 states across three key dimensions:

  • Emotional and physical well-being
  • Work environment
  • Community and environment

Utah is the happiest state in America

Utah ranks as the No. 1 happiest state in the U.S. with an overall score of 69.79 out of 100.

Though it came in 16th place for emotional and physical well-being, Utah took the top spots both for work environment and community and environment.

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Management QOL in the News - September 17, 2023

This Is What Harms Married People's Happiness The Most, Therapists Say

By Kelsey Borresen

Your relationship with your spouse is one of the most important bonds in your life. It can provide you with deep love and connection, someone to share experiences with, and opportunities to help you grow into a better version of yourself.

But sometimes other forces — like bad habits and unhealthy beliefs — get in the way of that. We asked therapists to name some of the biggest threats to married people’s happiness.

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Management QOL in the News - September 16, 2023

These cities are home to the happiest Americans

By Anja Solum and SmartAsset via Stacker

(Smart Asset) – Research shows that in some cases, money does lead to happiness. In fact, a 2021 University of Pennsylvania study found a correlation between happiness and income growth, even past an annual income of $80,000. This is in contrast to previous research that found happiness stagnated after an individual earned $75,000. However, not all places can offer the same level of happiness, as some cities offer more economic opportunities and a better quality of life than others.

To uncover the happiest places in America, SmartAsset analyzed the 200 largest cities, 164 of which had available data. This analysis looked at 13 different metrics across three categories: personal finance, well-being and quality of life. For details on our data sources and how SmartAsset put all the information together to create final rankings, read the Data and Methodology section below.

Key Findings

  • California cities dominate the top 10. While cities like Sunnyvale and Fremont offer the No. 1 and No. 3 highest earnings for individuals, these Western cities score highest in the quality of life category. Specifically, top 10 California cities had lower percentages of people living in poverty, higher marriage rates and lower violent crime rates.
  • Birmingham is the least happy city. This Alabama city ranks in the bottom five across metrics such as personal bankruptcy filings per capita, life expectancy and the percentage of residents living in poverty. Newark, New Jersey and Memphis, Tennessee follow as the second- and third-least happy cities.
  • Top 10 cities have high marriage rates. Residents who’ve said “I do” make up the majority of the population in all but one city: Arlington, Virginia, where the marriage rate is 44.0%. Frisco, Texas, which ranks No. 5 overall, has the highest marriage rate study-wide (62.6%).

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Management QOL in the News - September 15, 2023

Don’t Let Love Take Over Your Life

By Faith Hill

If you have a romantic partner, maybe you’ve noticed that you two spend an awful lot of time together—and that you haven’t seen other people quite as much as you’d like. Or if you’re single (and many of your friends aren’t), you might have gotten the eerie feeling that I sometimes do: that you’re in a deserted town, as if you woke one morning to find the houses all empty, the stores boarded up. Where’d everyone go?

Either way, that feeling might not just be in your head. Kaisa Kuurne, a sociologist at the University of Helsinki, told me she was “a little bit shocked” when she started mapping Finnish adults’ relationships for a 2012 study, investigating whom subjects felt close to and how they interacted day to day. Subjects who lived with a romantic partner seemed to have receded into their coupledom. When Kuurne asked them to rate, on a scale of one to seven, how close various relationships felt, they’d frequently give the highest mark to only their partner and their children, if they had them; when subjects illustrated their social networks, they’d commonly put those other connections—friends, co-workers, siblings—on the outskirts of their map. People outside the household, for the most part, weren’t “woven into that everyday life,” Kuurne told me.

Relationship trends can vary across cultures, but Kuurne told me that the pattern she noticed isn’t limited to Helsinki. Researchers in the U.S. have made similar observations. Katie Genadek, an economist who studies Census Bureau data, told me that the amount of time the average couple spends together has actually slightly increased since 1965.

Finding love is a beautiful, lucky thing. And some research suggests that shared time, at least up to a certain point, can make partners happier (though the strength of that link is up for debate). But there is only so much time in a day, and the minutes you spend alone with your partner are minutes not spent deepening connections with friends and relatives or building new bonds, not spent relishing the pleasures of solitude or enjoying whatever interests are uniquely yours. If you build a life with your relationship at the center, everything else gets pushed to the perimeter. There’s a way to maintain what I think of as “love-life balance,” to preserve your identity and autonomy while nurturing a caring partnership. Losing that balance can be damaging for a person, for a relationship, and for society.

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Management QOL in the News - September 14, 2023

This Is the Happiest State in the U.S., According to a New Survey

By Stacey Leasca

How happy are you, really? If you live in Utah, apparently, you’re the happiest.

WalletHub released its annual "Happiest States in America" report, showcasing which states have the “highest satisfaction with life.”

“Even though people across the U.S. are facing difficult times, the state in which you live may have an impact on how happy you are,” WalletHub wrote in its report. “WalletHub drew upon the findings of ‘happiness’ research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical, and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.”

To find the happiness level of each state and determine its rankings, the website measured all 50 states across 30 metrics, including depression rates, productivity, income growth, unemployment rates, sports participation rates, work environments, and even down to a state’s sleep rate.

After compiling the data, WalletHub revealed that Utah came out as the happiest state of all, specifically noting the state also has the highest volunteer rate, 40.7 percent, which “is 2.6 times higher than in Florida,” the state with the lowest volunteer rate. (The data suggests that helping others can really make you happier in the process.) Utah also clocked in with the lowest separation and divorce rate in the nation.

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Humans Have Crossed 6 of 9 ‘Planetary Boundaries’

By Meghan Bartels

Human activity is turning Earth into a world that may no longer adequately support the societies we’ve built, scientists warn in a new study charting whether and by how much we have surpassed nine “planetary boundaries.”

The analysis builds on a 2009 paper that first outlined nine planetary constraints that keep Earth’s environment similar to that of the world humans lived in during the preindustrial portion of the Holocene epoch. This period lasted for about the past 10,000 years, until the industrial revolution began and humans started burning large amounts of fossil fuels and sending heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In the new research, published on Wednesday in Science Advances, researchers raise the alarm about what the potential consequences of this departure from humans’ baseline might be.

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A Psychologist Explains The ‘Wealth-Love Paradox’

By Mark Travers

From providing a sense of security to buying the best vacations in the world, there’s no denying that money brings with it certain luxuries. A study published in Social Indicators Research revealed that financial status explains roughly 10% of the variance in individuals’ satisfaction with life, which is significant.

This goes beyond mere income, and emphasizes the importance of a holistic view of one’s economic position. However, while money can indeed enhance feelings of security and fulfill certain psychological needs, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee emotional connection or romantic compatibility.

Many affluent people often say that it is hard for them to find love and companionship. They say things like:

  • “Balancing my business with romantic relationships often leaves me wondering if true love is out of reach.”
  • “Sometimes I feel that my lifestyle isolates me, making it hard to find someone who appreciates my genuine qualities.”
  • “With frequent travels and events, I'm left pondering if people are drawn to me or the world around me.”

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Management QOL in the News - September 2, 2023

Why are married people happier than the rest of us?

By Olga Khazan

In the year 2000, having narrowly escaped the Y2K computer glitch, Americans should have been poised to party. The bendy riff of the Santana–Rob Thomas joint “Smooth” wailed from Top 40 stations everywhere. Survivor beckoned us to watch people eat grubs for a chance at $1 million. Brad and Jen got married, and the gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius asked acerbically, “Are you not entertained?”

But we weren’t. In fact, after chugging along steadily for decades, American happiness began to decline that year, modestly but definitively. A chart of American happiness ratings looks like this: a flat, basically happy line that starts in the 1970s, followed by a plunge into meh right around the new millennium.

The chart comes from a recent paper by Sam Peltzman, an emeritus economics professor at the University of Chicago. For the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, Peltzman looked at the General Social Survey, which since 1972 has asked thousands of Americans, “Taken all together, how would you say things are these days—would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?” If you imagine this large sample as 100 people, historically about 50 of those people say they’re “pretty happy,” and that’s still true. But in the 1970s, about 35 people would say they’re “very happy,” and 15 would say “not too happy.” That began to shift around 2000, and now about 32 people say they’re “very happy” and 18 say they’re “not too happy.”

To quote a Destiny’s Child song of that vintage, why the sudden change?

After slicing the demographic data every which way—income, education level, race, location, age, and gender—Peltzman found that this happiness dip is mainly attributable to one thing: Married people are happier, and Americans aren’t getting married as much. In 1980, 6 percent of 40-year-olds had never been married, but today, it’s 25 percent. “The recent decline in the married share of adults can explain (statistically) most of the recent decline in overall happiness,” he writes.

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