The 4 pillars of wellbeing and the impact on business

The 4 Pillars of Wellbeing are a way to frame the concept of wellbeing within business and society, and we see them as having the potential to change how businesses thrive over the coming decades.
What we'll cover

If you aren’t well, you can’t look after anyone else. This is an oft-stated point, but as with many oft-stated points, it is often overlooked. This article tackles the four pillars of wellbeing – emotional, social, physical and spiritual – and how they can impact your business.

Let’s look at them one by one.

Emotional wellbeing

What is emotional wellbeing?

Emotional wellbeing is about how you feel. It is the feeling of wellbeing, of being at ease and being happy. It is about confidence and self-esteem – the belief in yourself to be able to cope with whatever life throws at you.

It’s easy to dismiss this as woo-woo, but it’s actually very practical if you think about it. If you aren’t well emotionally, then you can’t think straight or concentrate properly on your tasks and therefore don’t get them done well.

If you are not at ease, then your employees don’t feel appreciated and rates of absenteeism rise. If you are not happy, the likelihood is that your customers won’t be either – and therefore will go elsewhere to buy from. It’s a vicious circle.

The impact on business, then, is clear. A business that is not emotionally well will struggle to attract good staff and will struggle to make customers happy.

How can emotional wellbeing be improved?

Anyone can improve their emotional wellbeing.

But to do so, you first need to know what you want and what it means for you. Ask yourself what you would like from life and be aware of your own values – things like fun, compassion, money, power and fame are not going to make you happy. Having a clear idea of those things that help you feel happy is a start.

Social wellbeing

What is social wellbeing?

Social wellbeing is THE cornerstone of an emotional wellbeing business, without which a business stands no chance in this tough world. Human beings are social animals and we long to be part of something – be it our family, a club or a team. When we’re part of something, we feel more connected to others and happier, which makes us stronger and more positive in our dealings with others.

Social wellbeing refers to how you feel about your place in any group that you belong to. It concerns how you feel about yourself as a person and your position in the group.

It is unlikely that you will feel content and at ease with your life if you feel your place in the group isn’t secure.

How can social wellbeing be improved?

Again, there are many ways that we can improve our social wellbeing.

However, the most important thing to do is to make sure you feel like you belong and that your place in the group or business is secure. This will mean being true to your own values as well as respecting others – it’s about showing care, compassion, consideration, humility, honesty and interdependence.

Physical wellbeing

What is physical wellbeing?

Physical wellbeing is the state of being physically fit and healthy. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete for this. Just as with emotional wellbeing, it’s often overlooked how important it is to be physically fit and healthy within a business context too. A lack of energy makes us slow at work – and if we’re slow at work, we don’t get tasks done quickly enough or well enough.

Physical wellbeing allows us to do the things we enjoy as our body is less prone to minor illnesses. We can think more clearly, concentrate better on our tasks and work more productively.

How can physical wellbeing be improved?

The health of our body is strongly connected to the health of our mind – and vice versa. If your thoughts are positive, then you will be able to take control of your life and be happy. If you have a strong mental state, then your physical state will follow. Your physical health is a good indicator of your mental state – if you’re stressed or anxious, then your body reacts to that by making you feel physically ill.

Clearly, though, exercise is also important, and both cardio and strength training are key, as is nutrition. Together, they all work together to keep us physically well by ensuring that our bodies are maintained and healthy.

By increasing our cardiovascular fitness, we will perform better at work because we will be more able to think clearly whilst exercising and will be less prone to illness. By increasing our strength, we increase our energy levels and ensure that we have a strong body that can handle the stresses of life.

We can also improve our physical health by eating better and reducing sugar, salt and saturated fat intake, which are all linked to cardiovascular disease as well as cancer.

Spiritual wellbeing

What is spiritual wellbeing?

Spiritual wellbeing refers to how your view of the world around you impacts your happiness. It is a purpose for our lives.

This means that it doesn’t just refer to us as humans – we know that sometimes an animal finds its way into our hearts and minds too – but also to include any higher power, God or the Universe that we believe in.

How can we improve our spiritual wellbeing?

As with all the other elements, spiritual wellbeing can be improved through being true to ourselves and our own values. If we stand for something, then we are more likely to be emotionally happy and contented with our lives.

Spiritual wellbeing can also be improved by making sure that we are a fully rounded person who is not only engaged in our businesses or career but also has a hobby, keeps fit, loves being around like-minded people and pays care and respect to others (who have different beliefs).

Why do people say that spiritual wellbeing is not important?

We often assume that because we are human beings, then our spirituality is not important. But of course it is! It is incredibly important to know the ways that we can improve our spiritual wellbeing in the workplace and, just as importantly, in our personal lives.

If we know about these ways to improve our spiritual wellbeing, then we are able to work together better, more productively and make good choices about how best to interact with others.

To finish

If we don’t spend time on the four pillars of wellbeing, our businesses will struggle, we’ll be stressed, and our employees won’t be thriving. We will fail to create the conditions in which true engagement can flourish.

If you’re finding you don’t have time, you can reach out to me as a business coach to discuss how we can make a difference and what it will take to make that happen. Typically, we’ll find you have plenty of time, but we will need to spend it differently.

Create more success

If you’re an entrepreneur, executive, business owner or freelancer who’s feeling lost in a maze, I would be happy to lend a hand.

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