With the upheaval and the heavy mental toll the covid-19 pandemic has brought about, one would have expected people to yearn for a peaceful, stable environment. However, South Asian don’t believe so. Only 56% people in South Asia want a calm, quite life, as compared to their East Asian counterparts, where 85% people wanted some relief from the stressful environment they had been living with for the last nearly 19 months.
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A global study conducted by Gallup along with Japan-based research and policy foundation Wellbeing for Planet Earth (WPE) recently, reveals that 73% people prefer a calm life rather than an exciting one. The study was conducted across 116 countries and regions last year with the aim of focusing on mental and physical wellbeing after the pandemic’s impact on public health and economy.
While East Asia topped the list of regions, while Latin America (82%) and Middle East/ North Africa (77%) followed close behind in regions that preferred tranquility. In high-income regions like North America and western Europe too, three out of three people opted for a tranquil, stress-free life. South Asians secured the bottom place in the list.
The aim of the survey was to highlight the acceptance of the Eastern philosophical concepts of inner peace and calmness across even in individualistic Western cultures that gave more importance to high-arousal emotions.
As a result, the study noted that these need to be considered as important study markers for overall wellbeing studies going forward. The study also tried to find whether participants were living a balanced and harmonious life, their sense of meaning and purpose and the how connected they felt with people around them.
With mental health gaining increasing relevance in our wellbeing discussion, the Gallup and WPE felt that the study showed people’s need for calmness and inner peace across the world. They also hope that future editions of the study will help in understanding the impact of the pandemic on people’s coping mechanism.