americans are very unhappy

Americans Are Very Unhappy. I’m Not Shocked.

A recent study by the NORC at the University of Chicago states a great number of Americans are very unhappy. Frankly, this doesn’t shock me.

Background

According to NORC they perform an “ongoing study” to “understand Americans’ beliefs, mental health, and outlook before, during and after the coronavirus outbreak.”

These are phone surveys in English and Spanish, speaking to 2000 Americans.

Then NORC compares the answers to other American responses from other traumatic events, like 9/11 or Kennedy’s Assassination.

Study’s Findings

The study’s findings are pretty troubling, but you must remember that the American respondents were surveyed before the COVID-19 Pandemic. You can read the full report here (it’s a PDF file). Here’s a snippet of the findings:

  • Only 14% of Americans say they are very happy.
  • However, 80% of respondents are happy with their family’s financial situation.
  • While fewer Americans find themselves crying more are angry or bored.
  • 50% of Americans feel socially isolated.
  • The number of Americans who believe their children will have a better life decreased to 42% from 57%.
  • Finally, 18% of Americans state they lack companionship.

My Opinions Why Americans Are Very Unhappy

I believe there are two reasons why Americans are very unhappy:

  • Not believing in God
  • Consumerism / Materialism

Not Believing In God

More Americans today either don’t believe in God, or do yet do not attend church. Gallup has a fantastic website that breaks down the statistic. Yet, what really confuses me is this:

…one in five Americans does not identify with any religion, most of the country still expresses belief in God. Exactly how large that majority is, however, depends on how nuanced the response options are.

So when Gallup changes the question from “Do you believe in God” to asking the respondents if they are “convinced” if God exists, the numbers drop.

I’m not shocked about this. Many Americans don’t know about God today. Sometimes because their parents didn’t know about God. Others may have atheist or agnostic parents. I also know individuals raised in a religion but left for a number of reasons later.

As a Christian I know the comforts of believing in God. During these troubling times in the world I must have a strong ally for assistance. While some people choose their family or friends there will be times those individuals will not be there. I turn to God and pray. To learn more about the powers of prayer, I wrote a post about it here.

As of right now, my constant praying keeps me from fear and I am not sad like the great number of Americans in that survey.

Consumerism / Materialism

Too many Americans seek enjoyment and self-esteem / self-worth through the things they own. However, this feeling doesn’t last long so they have to consume more and more.

Even worse is that things have a short lifespan. And new models replace the old ones even though there is nothing wrong with the old edition.

We don’t know how to enjoy the simple things in life. I wrote about learning to live with less and why I live lean. After adopting this lifestyle I don’t have the need to buy more stuff. Instead, I enjoy sitting outside in the sun, or walking in nature, or reading a book.

More Americans should enact these changes. It would improve their lives, which would increase their happiness.


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