Achieving a Healthier, Longer, and Better life has been a common goal even before the arrival of the pandemic. But how do we know if we are on the right path to attain this ideal life? To uncover the answers, AIA launched the “Healthier Together” study.
The research revealed the 8 key ingredients to a Healthier, Longer, Better Life, unlocking the gateway to a healthier and more fulfilled way of life while sparking meaningful discussions around happiness, stress, well-being, relationships, and more. The study findings were based on insights from over 80 wellness experts from various fields and the results were validated through a survey of 6,000 consumers in the Asia Pacific region, including 1,500 respondents in Malaysia. Through this groundbreaking research, it is revealed that only 29% of Malaysian respondents adopted at least seven of the eight ingredients while 46% only achieved three or fewer key ingredients.
Here are the 8 key ingredients and some interesting findings:
1. Having An Optimistic Outlook
Most Malaysians believe that having an optimistic outlook and finding the positives in life are essentials for a better well-being. A positive mindset is cultivated through reflection on life events, no matter big or small, that has brought you joy and fulfillment. Also, gratitude and thankfulness make us enjoy life’s little moments and allow us to view the world from different perspectives.
2. Sense of Independence
Personal autonomy gives us confidence in making choices when facing obstacles in our lives. To achieve this key ingredient, you need to actively participate in your financial health, physical health, and mental health. Malaysians shared that they take control of their lives by saving up for the future or rainy days (63%) and are more proactive in going for regular medical check-ups (48%) to ensure that they are always in their best health.
3. Make Time To Recharge
Living in a fast-paced world, we often forget and underestimate the benefits of recharging and unwinding after a long week at work. Especially during this pandemic where working from home has somewhat blurred the lines between work and personal time. Thankfully, 66% of Malaysia respondents find this key ingredient crucial and make time for relaxation by engaging in activities that they enjoy.
4. Be Active & Engaged
Through this study, it was found that Malaysian respondents were keen to improve their connection to a wider community which will help develop better social, physical, and mental health. With the practice of mindfulness techniques such as breathing and meditating, 41% of Malaysians believe that these powerful forms of actions help them achieve this key ingredient. Also, volunteering for a charity or a cause is determined as another compelling action that helps Malaysians feel active and engaged in their lives.
Giving yourself goals to accomplish and finding joy in everything you do are some of the approaches to achieve self-motivation. To unlock this key ingredient, establish achievable objectives and create a plan to attain your goals. While taking the time to acknowledge one’s success and achievements are highly regarded in Australia, Thailand and Hong Kong, Malaysians are more likely to consider completing a task an achievement, no matter how small.
6. Never Stop Learning & Exploring
The continuity of engaging and exploring with new ideas and experiences throughout our lives plays an important role in ensuring life satisfaction. By putting in the time to acquire a new skill such as singing, cooking, or even painting, we are enriching ourselves while having an end goal to look forward to. It is great news that Malaysians prefer to seek new information, ideas, and knowledge through reading. With the accessibility of the internet, there is no excuse for not expanding your horizons. So, go out there and challenge yourself or learn something new!
7. Maintain Quality Relationships
Through this study, Malaysians shared that having heart-to-heart talks and meaningful conversations with friends and loved ones is one of the most important actions to maintaining quality relationships. It is a blessing to be surrounded by individuals and groups that are like-minded, share similar interests, and are honest with each other. And while we receive attention and care from others, it is crucial that we take up the same role and always prepare ourselves to reach out to them proactively, listen to them, or even offer help when needed.
8. Understand Yourself & Your Emotions
This research has also shown that Malaysians are very aware of their feelings and emotions with 54% of them frequently using coping strategies, which is a higher proportion than other markets. Comprehending our feelings and thoughts help us understand what we want in life, what motivates us, our strengths and weaknesses, and our capabilities and limits. By handling our stress and negative emotions with coping strategies and reflecting on our feelings, we will then be able to live a more purposeful and fulfilled life despite any challenges that may come our way.
As part of the efforts to spur meaningful conversations about health and wellness during these challenging times, AIA has recently launched the “Hoping & Coping Through the Pandemic” video series which features its Global Ambassador David Beckham together with 14 other AIA regional ambassadors, including AIA Malaysia’s very own Nicol David, coming together to share their personal experiences and approach to practicing a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic. You can also view the complete findings of AIA’s Healthier Together study and survey HERE.