Throughout the pandemic, we have all experienced emotional highs and lows. For a lot of us, it may be more lows because of how limited our daily lives remain. In a recent happiness study done by WalletHub.com, Michigan is near the bottom in overall happiness at 37th out of all 50 states. West Virginia has the lowest score with Hawaii coming in with first place.
WalletHub achieved this ranking based on several different factors in each state. The most important factors to the study included weather throughout the year, average leisure time spent per day, number of work hours and adult depression. The worse the number or overall score for these, the lower the happiness for the state.
While it may seem like this is even more to bring your mood down just by hearing we are one of the more unhappy states, clinical psychologist Nicole Beurkens says to take this study with a grain of salt as a lot of the factors in the study may not apply to you. There are also so many things you can do on a daily to keep your happiness high.
"I think it's important to remember that people can have overall happiness in life, even if they are currently experiencing a challenging or unhappy period of time or situation in their life." says Beurkens. "That's an important thing to be aware of and that's really what we talk about when we're talking about being resilient, being able to adapt to life challenges and circumstances."
It is important to remember that you not stress over the things you can't control, because that can negatively impact your happiness and health. You must make sure you are doing things that are going to increase your happiness with things you can control, whether that is with who you surround yourself with or your activities outside of work or school.
"One of the things that we know that is absolutely related to a sense of well being and happiness is taking care of your physical health." said Doctor Beurkens. "Physical health has a huge impact on mental health. Whether we're talking about things like eating nutrient dense foods as opposed to maybe a lot of processed sugary kinds of things, or we're talking about movement and exercise and spending time in nature."
With the weather turning sour here soon, getting outside for activity will likely become pretty limited. However, because of the pandemic, we have so many tools to be active inside. Other recommendations to keeping happiness high include limiting time on social media, staying connected with friends and family even if you can't in person and maybe even investing in a “happy” light device that resembles sunlight.
If you would like to read the study for yourself, you can find it by using this link from WalletHub.com.