UNHAPPINESS IS RISING What Can We Do About It?

funny motivation
unhappiness is rising
unhappiness is rising
Brad smiling
funny motivational speaker-9.56 AM

Feeling Unhappy?

Turns out that Gallup, the polling company, has been monitoring global happiness for almost 2 decades now.  They’ve been asking people both in surveys and in interviews about their “subjective wellbeing,” or what others might call happiness.  You can check out their findings here: The Global Rise of Unhappiness

Apparently people all over the world are experiencing more sadness, anger, unhappiness, stress, anxiety—you name it—than they ever have before.  The number of those living their worst possible lives went from just 1.6% in 2006, to 7.6% in 2021.  What’s more, the gap between those who experience the most unhappiness and those who experience the least grew by more than 5%.  We’re talking about just a few percentage points here, but when you multiply that by the almost 8 billion people who share this planet, well, that’s a lot of people who do not rate their wellbeing as very high at all, and who don’t see much chance of it getting better.  

Financial Security Alone Isn’t Enough for Happiness

The obvious answers to why the divide is growing, like income inequality, Covid and lack of access to resources, are not the whole story, according to this article.  For people who are the happiest, they rate high satisfaction in five key areas:  They are fulfilled by their work, feel financially secure, live in great communities, have good physical health, and have loved ones they can turn to for help.  Those who are the most unhappy have little satisfaction in these key areas.  And although financial security is definitely on the list of what makes people happier, it is not the only thing on the list, and it is not the main driver of people’s feelings of wellbeing.  After all, my definition of having enough money is probably going to be different than someone else’s definition.  

World Leaders Need to Focus on Wellbeing, Not Just GDP

Gallup’s takeaway from the rising number of unhappy people out there is that one, world leaders are missing out on this obvious measure of how well overall their various countries are doing, no matter what other objective indicators suggest.  Instead of looking at GDP, unemployment rates or currency values, they should be looking at the subjective wellbeing of their populace, says Gallup.  Unhappiness, no matter what the cause, drives social upheaval, and world leaders need to be more aware of discontent.  Their other takeaway is that by measuring what constitutes a “great life,” we can develop measures to address the shortfalls.  Financial security is only one factor that gives people a sense of wellbeing.  The other four are equally, perhaps even more, important.

And that’s my takeaway from this article.  As an expert in social and emotional support, I was interested that three of the five factors of a higher subjective wellbeing score are community based.  Meaning that if you feel you live and work in a strong community, have loved ones you can rely on for support and have a fulfilling job, your chances of scoring high on the subjective wellbeing test is strong.

In my motivational speaking job I focus on teaching leaders, workers, administrators, faculty, hospitals, schools, government agencies, husbands, wives, people on how to identify, grow and then reap the rewards of using social and emotional support to enrich their work environments, their home environments, their whole lives.  It’s powerful stuff, I know!

Social and emotional support rests on the idea of Support, with a capital S.  And in order to have Support (with the capital S) you have to have other people.  Other people to both offer social and emotional support to, and other people to give you social and emotional support.  Both the giving and the receiving sides of the equation are important.

So one measure of subjective wellbeing according to Gallup is to live in (or work in) a positive or fulfilling community.  Community is rooted in social support.  Another measure is to have others you can count on for help.  That is the very definition of social and emotional support.  Having a fulfilling job is also an indicator of happiness, as well as being something which again relies on social support.

The long and short of it is that we need more social and emotional support in our lives, and the declining sense of happiness in the world proves it.  Often our jobs isolate us (think cubicles or computer screens), our entertainment and leisure choices isolate us (think TV or video games), and our living arrangements isolate us (think one bedroom apartments or condos).  We crave community.  We evolved from caves and savannas and forests in groups and by helping each other.  We are happiest when giving help to others and by receiving help from others.  And when we are happy, we work better, smarter and more effectively.  We live better, smarter and more joyfully.  

If you’d like to learn how to increase social and emotional support in your work life, among your employees, among your peers, or in your family and friends, look me up.  I am a motivational speaker who specializes in helping companies, associations, hospitals, schools, leadership groups, medical practices—you name it— increase social and emotional support in their businesses and in their lifestyles, and thereby increase their bottom lines, raise their feelings of well-being, and live and work to their fullest potential.

Biography of a Motivational Speaker

Funny keynote speaker Brad Montgomery is an award winning, Hall of Fame speaker. He got his start as a magician & comedian, but now serves convention and meeting audiences in many fields including health care, real estate / REALTORS, sales people, educators and teachers, and 100s of others.

Brad presents his funny keynotes both live and in person, and virtually over Zoom and a few dozen other platforms.

Give us a call, and we’ll talk about how to customize a program just for you and your audience.