Five Steps to a Happier Life

Are you happy? In the days of "he's lucky he has a job," that might have been a largely irrelevant question. Not anymore.

In experiments with 700 participants, researchers at the University of Warwick found that higher levels of happiness were associated with higher levels of productivity. In fact, happiness made subjects about 12% more productive.

"The driving forces seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality," said Dr. Daniel Sgroi, one of the lead researchers.

Manufacturing has been in the midst of a collective effort to cast aside its "dark, dirty, dull" image and appeal to young people. To attract millenials, manufacturers will need to give at least some thought to whether they are creating happy, fulfilling work environments.

"Well-being is your business," Ben Leedle and Jim Clifton told leaders in the 2013 Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being report, which examines well-being at the individual and group level. "Chronic disease and obesity are on the rise, healthcare costs continue to be the No. 1 expense item for many businesses and workers tell us that relationships in the workplace have declined significantly over the past six years. It's time for leaders in all sectors to take notice."

Professionals, managers and business owners have the highest level of well-being, the Gallup-Healthways report  finds. But disturbingly, the research finds manufacturing "consistently" among the occupations with the lowest well-being.

What can you do? Dr. Sanjay Jain, author of Optimal Living 360: Smart Decision Making for a Balanced Life, offers these 5 tips for increased happiness. He suggests you try one and then add another the following week. If they work for you, then pass them on to your workforce.

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