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There’s been some backlash online to the previously accepted notion that Americans are eternally optimistic, especially in this election season.This grouchy video mash-up of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” has clocked up more than 260,000 views.There could be a reason why: Almost half of Americans said they’d experienced a major stressful event in the last year, according to a survey of 2,500 adults by National Public Radio, the non-profit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health.Young adults were more overwhelmed by responsibilities while older adults cited health problems, but both suffer almost equal amounts of stress.Here’s what they said: Wages are not keeping up with inflation One reason for all the unhappiness could be that wages are stagnant and many people are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, Meadows says.
“To design economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, we must first understand individual consumption choices,” it said.“Usually, it’s lack of energy in body and mind,” he says. “When people are fed up with their routine, and life seems to have no aim and meaning, then people do get depressed, despite having so many physical comforts,” he says.Also see: 5 ways commuting ruins your life “Money is a little like health, you don’t want to talk about it with your friends because there’s a little bit of shame around it,” says Andrew Meadows, a San Francisco-based producer of “Broken Eggs,” a documentary about retirement, and vice president of brand and culture at Ubiquity Retirement Savings.People who share about their fabulous vacation on Facebook are not going to help most Americans feel better.
And keeping up with the Joneses is tougher now because of sites like Facebook. is one of the few countries in the industrialized world that does not require employers to offer paid parental leave. is one of the few developed countries that doesn’t require employers to provide paid time off.
“Savor ordinary events, avoid comparisons, keep a gratitude journal, have meaningful goals, exercise and put money low on the list,” she says.