KCUR: Many Adults Are Dissatisfied with Life. Kansas City-Area Experts Say Gratitude and Connection Help
In 2021, 4.8% of adults said they were dissatisfied with life, according to a new report released earlier this month that examined how people across different age, sex, race and family income perceive their lives.
Life satisfaction can often be subjective and multifaceted, based on questions like: How are my relationships with family, friends and work? Am I taking care of my health and meeting my goals?
Sometimes people use happiness to define life satisfaction, but Kadie Harry, PhD, a licensed psychologist with Saint Luke’s Health System, says happiness and life satisfaction are both pieces of subjective well-being — thinking and feeling that one's life is going well, not badly. She said the pursuit of happiness to improve overall well-being can be well-intentioned but sometimes misguided.
“In a lot of self-help literature, the pursuit of happiness is the absence of negative emotions. I need to feel happy, I need to worry less and feel less stressed,” Harry said. “Although this is well-intentioned — and of course sounds good, right? Who would argue with, I wanna feel more positive of emotions — this is an unrealistic goal. We can't cherry-pick emotions.”
Read the full KCUR article: Many Adults Are Dissatisfied with Life. Kansas City-Area Experts Say Gratitude and Connection Help