06 March 2024

Just how miserable are you?

If you live in the United States you're probably more miserable than you would be if you were living in Nicaragua right now. 

Every now and then researchers somewhere do a nearly world-wide "Mental Wellbeing" study to tell us just how miserable we are...or aren't.  

The Oxford dictionary defines wellbeing as "the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy" or "an improvement in the patient's well-being."  Both of the above portions of the definition apply since, essentially, we all have recently been patients of one sort or another.   

Non-profit Sapien Labs released a post-pandemic wellbeing study not long ago.  The results of these studies, no matter who authors them, are always a bit of a surprise to me.  I spend time in two countries that are routinely scored for mental wellbeing and so have actual experience of the wellbeing of the people who live in each of those areas since I live among them.

Inflation has hit everywhere but despite inflation and a poverty we in the United States cannot understand, Nicaragua routinely scores more highly than the United States in mental wellbeing studies.  In this study the Dominion Republic has the highest score of all with the United States ranking at number 29.

Nicaragua scores number 23 in being "comfortable, healthy, or happy."

If you are at all interested you can use the test that Sapien Labs used in their calculations to see just how miserable you are:  


Note:  In reviewing similar studies I came across one that found a correlation between being altruistic and being "comfortable, healthy, or happy."  

However, another recent study, "Understanding left-wing authoritarianism: Relations to the dark personality traits, altruism, and social justice commitment," did not present altruism as something beneficial.  (This study itself can be found here:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-023-04463-x)