Author examines why Americans are so unhappy and outlines 8 proven strategies to become happy 88% of the time
Despite achieving a record-breaking 4% GDP growth, America has fallen to 18th in the World Happiness Report’s annual ranking of more than 150 countries—an index based on variables including social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. Various media reports in relation to this year’s study underscore this is the second consecutive year the United States has fallen in the rankings, with America never having even cracked the top 10.
The report suggests three main variables prompting declining happiness in the United States: behind the fall in America’s happiness, citing “America’s subjective well-being is being systematically undermined by three interrelated epidemic diseases, notably obesity, substance abuse (especially opioid addiction), and depression.” Other related media reports assert the root causes of America’s fall in happiness are due to a social demise amid a “disintegration of true social connection and support networks.”
The World Happiness Report provides insight as to what these social issues are, which includes a lack of social support, increasing loneliness and isolation and the fact that people are spending a disturbing amounts of time on social media and smartphones. The report also points to America’s ominous economic issues such as financial stress and income equality; the rise in materialism that’s been seen in recent years that’s has been linked to depression; physical problems (sugar addiction, obesity, lack of exercise).
“The negative emotions resulting from America’s problems noted in the World Happiness Report, whether independently or in combination, only breed more and more unhappiness and may actually lead to other side effects like hatred, shame and fear,” says Dr. Marissa Pei, a consulting psychologist and author of the newly-released title, “8 Ways to Happiness from Wherever You Are.” “Although Americans can’t change the circumstances in their country overall, they can personally take steps toward achieving an enhanced level of happiness in their own lives—and it’s incumbent on them to be proactive in doing so.”
So it seems Dr. Marissa’s book, 8 Ways to Happiness from Wherever You Are, is timely and certainly needed. In it, she addresses eight ways to transition from sadness to being happy 88% of the time. Why 88%? Dr. Marissa explains that it’s not possible to be 100% happy because everyone needs contrast in their lives and can’t know happiness if there aren’t some points of unhappiness to contrast with. Her Chinese heritage also helped her arrive at this number because in Mandarin the number 8 is a homonym for good fortune.
8 Ways to Happiness is for anyone who has stopped to ask themselves, “Am I happy?” or “Why am I not happy?” and is not willing to spend 10 years in therapy or take a pill with side effects that can make them feel even worse than they do now. Furthermore, it is for those who already are taking medication for their “Dis-Ease” with life but still not feeling better. The eight chapters are focused on common places that human beings get “stuck,” such as loneliness, loss, hatred, shame, and heartbreak, with relatable snapshots and exercises to build new roads into hope, love, faith, and happiness.
Given her professional pedigree, Dr. Pei doesn’t just talk the talk, she’s walked the walk on the front lines. This Doctor of Organizational Psychology is an inspirational speaker, author, life balance coach and global thought leader who has spoken, coached and facilitated with hundreds of Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, Cedars-Sinai, AT&T, Mattel, Toyota and Bank of America over the past 27 years.
Also a TV commentator and on-air personality, affectionately known as “the Asian Oprah,” her popular talk radio show “Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa” is syndicated on CNBC News Radio and iHeart Radio, among other outlets.
As with any and all of us, Dr. Marissa herself is not immune to unhappiness. Her own pain from the past, and fear of the future, helps readers identify with her new 8 Ways to Happiness book that ultimately relays a message of hope. She provides those struggling to find happiness with alternative ways of seeing their own reality, as well as a chance to practice balance tools that shovel out the “shiitake” from their past and return it as fertilizer for new seeds of understanding about the unique, beautiful, wonderful, precious beings we all are.
Branding, business and entrepreneurship success pundit, Merilee Kern, MBA, is an influential media voice, lauded communications strategist and celebrated health advocate. As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List International News Syndicate” and author of “Making Healthy Choices,” she’s a revered consumer trends expert and health industry voice of authority who spotlights noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers. Merilee may be reached online at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.