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Negative emotions grew post-pandemic, reveals report

Around 35% of respondents of the State of Happiness 2023 survey stated that they have experienced stress, anger, and sadness post-pandemic

The report showed that student population witnessed the highest rise in negative experiences. Pexels/Tim Gouw)
The report showed that student population witnessed the highest rise in negative experiences. Pexels/Tim Gouw)

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More people in India are struggling with negative emotions such as stress, anger, sadness, and worry, according to the State of Happiness 2023 report by consulting firm HappyPlus. About 35% of the respondents stated that they have felt such emotions compared to 33% in 2022.

The report is based on a survey involving 14,000 people from across 36 states and union territories. The happiness state rankings were based on life evaluation questions, social support, freedom to make life choices, corruption perception, positive and negative impacts and wellbeing index, according to HappyPlus founder and CEO Ashish Ambasta. 

Also read: How covid affected teenagers' mental health

The findings revealed that the student population has witnessed highest rise in negative experiences and was impacted the most. Among the regions, Arunachal Pradesh topped the list with 60% of respondents stating that they were unhappy, followed by 58% in Madhya Pradesh. Furthermore, positive emotions have decreased by three percent to 67% since 2022. The survey identified five factors that have been causing negative emotions: workplace pressure, societal norms, loneliness and isolation, and uncertainties after the pandemic, as reported by PTI.

The worrying decline showed that found five out of 10 reported as unhappy persons in comparison to two out of 10 in the previous year. People below 18 years and above 60 years are experiencing anger or sadness higher compared to other age groups.

The constant fear of job losses and layoffs have been a cause of stress for many while trying to get back to normality. "Global economic scenario and constant glooming news of global recession have its share in the rise of stress and unhappiness. Indians are also struggling from a silent pandemic -- loneliness and isolation. Loneliness has been recognised as one of the major public health concerns across generations," it added, as reported by PTI.

As of 2022, out of 146 countries, India is in the 136th position on the World Happiness Index. India has the lowest happiness score compared to the neighbouring countries Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

In contrast to State of Happiness 2023 report findings, the 10th World Happiness Report showed that Covid-19 has not affected people’s happiness, as reported by The Guardian

Moreover, the international study that interviewed 100,000 people across 137 countries found significantly higher levels of benevolence in all global regions than before the pandemic. 

Also read: Can tragic optimism help you during difficult times?

“People ended up discovering their neighbours. People were checking in more regularly [with other generations] so that sense of isolation was not as much as you would expect … Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness,” John Helliwell, a professor of economics at the University of British Columbia and a co-editor of the report told The Guardian

(With inputs from PTI)



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