It goes without saying that the United States has seen a decline in happiness over the years. The World Happiness Report found that most Americans are stressed out over money, the political climate, and violence; while these may be reasonable variables to have concern over, it seems the United States is suffering from something greater than these – consumerism and overall social climate. It is becoming clearer that the more we focus on ourselves and less on connecting with others, the unhappier we are – yet we continue to do it.
Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at The Earth Institute, Columbia University, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, as well as Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General described the current position of the United States as this,
“In sum, the United States offers a vivid portrait of a country that is looking for happiness ‘in all the wrong places’. The country is mired in a roiling social crisis that is getting worse. Yet the dominant political discourse is all about raising the rate of economic growth.”
The American Psychological Association outlines America’s consumerist mentality and how this had led to social discontent; some research has suggested that it’s because the more time we spend on getting things, the less time we must spend on nurturing happiness, such as building relationships and connecting with friends/family. Most of America has a lower income and a higher desire for material possessions, which can certainly have an impact on unhappiness. In addition, Americans today are more susceptible to psychological conditions, poorer moods and dissatisfaction in relationships as they live and thrive around extrinsic goals such as product acquisition.
What can you do about this? Focus on what you have. Be appreciative. Practice mindfulness. Recognize the beautiful things around you, and strive each day towards greatness. Don’t give up. Forgive yourself; you’re human. Do things that are needed for your health and recovery. Seek out help and make the decision to place your happiness and well-being as top priority today.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse and recovery treatment centers. Our licensed, experienced professionals truly care about your success in recovery and will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. Make the decision to seek help today. Call us at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.