Sadness, Stress & Pain

There is more global feeling of sadness, stress and pain than ever before.  Rachael Rettner, senior writer at Live Science reports on the future & outcome of these conditions.  Right now our world isn’t emotionally so hot.

After completing a survey of daily emotions of individuals, worldwide, they are revealing negative emotions that include sadness, worry and stress.  These have increased over the last decade and now reach a record high in 2017.  It was revealed also that based on the reports of positive emotions, the happiest country in 2017 was Paraguay.  This makes the third year in a row that the South American country has claimed the top spot.  Afghanistan was reported as the least happy country.

Also participants were asked if they had certain positive or negative emotions or experiences the day before, and for positive experiences also asked if they felt well rested, treated with respect, smiled a lot or enjoyed themselves the day before.  The negative experiences participants were asked if they felt worry, sadness, stress, anger or physical pain on the previous day.

These responses were used by Gallup to create an index score of positive and negative experiences for each country and world overall.  The cap score was 100.  The 2017 survey found, overall, that people worldwide had a negative experience score of 30, which is the highest negative experience score measured by Gallup since the surveys began in 2006.  The conclusion is the world is more stressed, worried sad and in pain today that ever before, according to Mohamed Younis, Galllup’s managing editor.  Most countries that were high negative experience scores were dealing with war or other turmoil in 2017.

The highest negative-experience score was the Central African Republic with fighting between armed groups that forced thousands of people from their homes.  Their score of 61 is the highest such score every recorded in the last decade.  Iraq scored 59, South Sudan 55 and Chad had a score of 54.  The U.S. had a negative-experience score of 32, slightly higher than the global average.

Global score for positive experiences in 2017 was 69 out of 100.  This is slightly down from 70 in 2017 and 71 in 2015.  This is not out of line for scores in the past decade.  Paraguay ranked 85, Columbia, El Salvador and Guatemala tied with 82.  Latin American countries tend to dominate the list of happiest countries where the cultural tendency in the region focuses on life’s positives.  U.S. had a score of 78, which is above the global average and places the U.S. 4th among the OECD members, tied with Finland.

No matter where a country falls on the positive or negative experience indexes, all their leaders need to try monitoring the emotional temperature of the people they lead.  Leading their societies effectively will ensure that future generations will live better lives than previous ones by evaluating their lives and understanding the local realities they face.

Dr Fredda Branyon