According to a recent Harris Poll, most Americans are not very happy.
The poll found that only about one third of people in the United States consider themselves happy. In other words, 67% of Americans are unhappy with the lives.
Many of the unhappy people seem to be part of the generation now in their 20s and 30s, a.k.a. “generation Y.” Members of this generation seem to have high levels of stress that may be related to the recent economic crisis. Many of them have to pay off large student loans, but are having difficulty finding jobs.
On the other hand, the recession may actually have had a certain positive effect on people’s attitudes. Namely, people have become less likely to believe that wealth is necessary for happiness. It seems they have been forced to learn to be content with less.
And there is more good news for stressed Gen-Y-ers: Thing are likely to get better. Researchers have found that people generally become happier as they age into their 50s. Perhaps this has to do with them becoming more economically stable, or perhaps they simply grow to realize that money and physical possessions aren’t very important. It may have something to do with people simply becoming more comfortable in their own skin as well.
But in spite of these positive aspects, it seems most Americans aren’t very optimistic about their future. In 2013, only 67 percent of Americans report being optimistic about what’s to come, in contrast to 75 percent in 2011. On average, Americans are much less optimistic than people in other countries.
Optimism has been shown to have real benefits for health and happiness, meaning that even if things really are going to get worse, you’ll be better off thinking positively about it. Besides, there truly do seem to be some things to look forward to. So why not look on the bright side?
Happiness Index: Only 1 in 3 Americans Are Very Happy, According To Harris Poll http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/01/happiness-index-only-1-in_n_3354524.html
Optimism Health Benefits: 6 Perks Of Looking On The Bright Side http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/08/optimism-health-benefits_n_3230715.html