In a new report, Wellbeing for All: Incorporating Harmonic Principles of Wellbeing in Subjective Wellbeing Research and Policymaking, Gallup and the Wellbeing for Planet Earth (WPE) Foundation outline the evidence for a novel four-dimensional construct of subjective wellbeing, designated as the “harmonic principles” of wellbeing. Harmonic principles draw attention to historically overlooked experiences like feelings related to harmony and balance, as well as contentment and inner peace, and are complementary to the traditionally established models of subjective wellbeing.
The study, which was conducted in 142 countries through the Gallup World Poll in 2022, finds that most of the global population (80%) “always” or “often” feels in harmony with others. The feeling of balance is not as common as harmony — slightly more than half globally feel that the various aspects of their lives are in balance (59%), compared with 39% who do not.
At the country level, the report finds that harmony and balance are positively associated with global metrics used by policymakers worldwide, like the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Social Progress Index (SPI).
“We started doing this research in 2019 and are now discovering how a harmonic view of wellbeing can complement our measures of subjective wellbeing beyond the traditionally established evaluative and emotional components,” said Alden Lai, an executive adviser to the Wellbeing for Planet Earth Foundation and the lead for the Global Wellbeing Initiative partnership with Gallup. “We think that the harmonic principles of wellbeing provide a new lens for local and global policymaking.”
“Our visionary partnership with the Wellbeing for Planet Earth Foundation through the Global Wellbeing Initiative has already enhanced existing wellbeing metrics, with the concept of calmness becoming a permanent part of the Gallup World Poll’s core measures of emotion,” said Joe Daly, a senior partner at Gallup. “This kind of innovative research is game changing for policymakers worldwide who consider the benefits and rewards of adopting harmonic principles of wellbeing in shaping their decisions.”