The increase in negative emotions could have profound implications for global health.
The world is not a happy place — at least, not according to the people living in it.
This week, analytics firm Gallup shared the results of a global survey designed to gauge the world’s emotional temperature. Their report suggests that people are sadder, angrier, and more worried than ever before recorded — findings that could have profound implications for global health.
Sad, Mad, and Worried
For its 2018 Global State of Emotions report, Gallup conducted more than 151,000 interviews with adults living in more than 140 countries. They asked survey respondents questions about how they felt the day prior, such as whether they smiled or laughed a lot, and whether they felt sadness or anger.
They found that the number of people who said they’d experienced anger increased by two percentage points over the previous year, while both worry and sadness increased by one percentage point — setting new record highs for all three negative emotions.
Research has noted the impact negative feelings can have on a person’s physical health — studies have linked anger to an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke, while chronic worry and sadness can be signs of anxiety disorders and depression, which carry an increased risk of heart disease.
If people continue to experience these negative emotions in greater numbers, we could be headed toward a future in which the global population is increasingly unhealthy — a situation that carries its own troubling side effects.
READ MORE: The world is sadder and angrier than ever, major study finds [CNN]
More on sadness: Researchers Found What Sadness Looks Like in the Brain