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The state of global emotions

September 12, 2023

Gallup’s annual Global Emotions Report found that positive emotions recovered in 2022, after dropping for the first time in 2021 following years of stability. More people felt well-rested, experienced enjoyment, and smiled or laughed the previous day:

  • 71% of people worldwide said they felt well-rested
  • 72% experienced a lot of enjoyment
  • 73% smiled or laughed a lot
  • 87% felt treated with respect

Many countries moved in a positive direction in 2022, including double-digit increases in several countries such as Mexico, Russia and Lebanon.

“Perhaps exhaling a collective sigh of relief after so much uncertainty during the pandemic, the world felt more well-rested, experienced more enjoyment, and smiled or laughed more the previous day than in 2021,” the report says.

At the same time, the global rise in unhappiness stalled, with negative emotions remaining at the record high set in 2021:

  • 41% of adults experienced a lot of worry the previous day.
  • 32% of people worldwide experienced a lot of physical pain the previous day, meaning nearly one in three were in daily pain.
  • More than one in four experienced sadness (27%) and slightly fewer experienced anger (23%).

“While the world’s emotional health didn’t get worse in 2022, it’s too soon for policymakers to relax. Although positive emotions are up, the world still has a well-being problem. Negative emotions are still running at record highs. The Negative Experience Index score in 2022 is 10 points higher than it was in 2007 — and still two points higher than after the pandemic first arrived,” Content Senior Consultant Julie Ray wrote.

According to the report authors, understanding how people are feeling is essential for leaders who strive to create thriving workplaces, institutions, communities and countries.

Source: Gallup