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Turning around high rates of stress and unhappiness

January 26, 2024

A relatively new science studying the idea of hope looks to reverse some trends in mental health. According to a Gallop Poll, since the COVID-19 pandemic, people are the most unhappy and stressed they’ve ever been.

The poll had three takeaways from those who participated in the survey.

  1. People are having more negative experiences and fewer positive ones.
  2. Stress, sadness, and worry are at their highest recorded levels.
  3. People do not feel rested and are feeling less joy than at any other time in history.

Dr. Danielle Henderson, a clinical psychologist with Indiana University Health, joined us to talk about what is commonly called the science of hope and what it means for people’s mental health.

According to Henderson, factors like weather, social media usage, the type of news people may run into, and feeling less connected to others can contribute to feelings of hopelessness.

She adds that winter isn’t always the easiest for people.

For those experiencing hopelessness, Henderson recommends turning to the small things.

If those feelings persist for a few weeks, Henderson says that is the time to reach out to friends or talk to a professional.