Happiness, Well-being and Quality of Life – El Financiero

One of the most important issues that interest us as happiness scientists is its definition. In the process of advancing science, whatever it may be, it is very important to have accurate definitions. This way, we will have a common base to be able to build around it. The lack of clarity in definitions inevitably leads us away from the issues and makes it difficult to make progress.

In the early years that I ventured into the topic of happiness, related concepts such as subjective and objective well-being and quality of life began to emerge. There was such a great relationship between these terms that I remember they were used as synonyms. The most common one was to refer to happiness as “subjective well-being”.

It is not easy to reach consensus on definitions. Through anecdotal accounts, I remember that on one occasion we met at the annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Quality of Life (ISQOLS, for its acronym in English). As part of the Board of Directors, I had to be at dinner before the opening of the conference and there I expressed one of the doubts which had been worrying me so much at the time. I asked the president of the association if we had an official definition of quality of life. His response was epic: Of course Baby, we have a lot.

Are there differences between the concepts of happiness, well-being and quality of life? There is no doubt that the three concepts are related to each other but they do not necessarily mean the same thing. I’ll try to delve a little into this and take as a basis the concepts I discussed last week with my good friend Alberto Tovar on an episode of his podcast: Money and Happiness.

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Although we do not yet have the consensus we would like, there is some agreement among the “scholars of encouragement” that happiness means contentment with life. Personally, I like to complete the definition of happiness as the satisfaction with life expressed in what we have, what we do, and what we are. That is, to be happy means to be satisfied with what you have, with what you do and with what you are.

The concept of well-being explains itself in a very clear way: the existence of well-being is be fine. In the beginning, I learned that well-being can be both subjective and objective and that it is very important to look at both sides in order to be happy. Over time, I have discovered that luxury has many dimensions and that there are many dimensions for which we see fit. In my writings and conferences, I like to deal with three dimensions: physical, material and emotional. If we want to be healthy, we must take care of our health, money, and emotions.

Finally, the concept of quality of life is the most recent of the three, and thus the one with the least consensus on its definition. In a simple way, the concept defines itself and we can say that quality of life occurs when the life we ​​live is of quality. Here it is worth specifying that in addition to what we have, what we do and what we are now, the environment plays a very important role. Thus, we have that quality of life can be assessed at the state, state or city level, at the business level, at the university level and even at the family level, among other areas.

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What is the relationship between the three? First, it will be necessary to clarify that happiness is a matter of one’s decision rather than the decision of another. No one can give us eternal happiness, and no one is responsible for our happiness. Thus, despite not being much, not doing what we love or not being what we dream about, we can be happy. Attitude is key in the concept of happiness and the decision one makes to face life is what makes us more or less happy.

Well-being is the platform on which happiness rests. Sure, we can have a little more health, a few material goods, and a few more pleasant feelings in our lives and still decide to be happy. But if we have health, good personal relationships, and financial resources that cover basic needs, happiness comes naturally.

The quality of life is largely determined by the environment. For example, in a city we will have a better quality of life if it is safe, if the roads are friendly, if there is no shortage of work, if the people are friendly, etc. Although it is not the only thing we need, a pleasant environment will undoubtedly be an element that adds to our happiness.

In short, happiness is a decision that becomes easier if we have the luxury. We have to cultivate well-being, take care of our health, our money and our personal relationships. The quality of life is all that surrounds us, and although it does not depend entirely on our actions, it does depend on the eyes with which we judge our circumstances.

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How can we be happier? I expressed it a few days ago in the same place: Let’s get down to business. To be more specific, let us work on our integral well-being and our happiness will come naturally.

The author is a consultant and speaker on topics of happiness, well-being and quality of life

His email: [email protected]

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