Meike Bartels Pod Title

138: Meike Bartels on Well-being

In this episode I speak to Meike Bartels, a renowned researcher in wellbeing and happiness. Meike’s research work uncovers the layers that contribute to our sense of fulfilment, exploring how genetics, environment, and personal habits intertwine to shape our happiness.

In our conversation, Meike highlights that wellbeing is an evolving state, influenced by positive surroundings and actions. We discuss the differences between eudemonic and hedonic wellbeing, the genetic basis of happiness, and the essential balance between work and life for maintaining our wellbeing.

Meike provides intriguing insights into the genetic factors that account for about 40% of the variation in happiness across populations, opening up discussions about personalised approaches to enhancing wellbeing. We also cover the ‘exposome’ concept, illustrating how a wide range of external factors from birth affects our growth and happiness.

A key focus of our discussion is the significance of acknowledging individual preferences in both life and work. Meike advocates for environments that cater to personal genetic makeup for better wellbeing and stresses the importance of adapting work settings to meet employees’ unique needs.

We also explore the role of physical activity in mental health, discussing the benefits of finding enjoyable physical activities and the concepts of ‘effort forcing’ and achieving a flow state for optimal performance and satisfaction.

I really enjoyed the conversation. Meike is not surprisingly a sunny person, but at the same time straightforward in her advice about making active choices in our lives to enhance our happiness.

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