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America Unhappier Than Ever Despite Record-Breaking Economic Growth, Report Finds

New book examines why Americans are so unhappy and outlines 8 proven strategies to become happy 88% of the time


August 8, 2018

Despite achieving 4% GDP growth, America has fallen to 18th in the World Happiness Report's annual ranking of more than 150 countries-an index based on variables including social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. Various media reports in relation to this year's study underscore this is the second consecutive year the United States has fallen in the rankings, with America never having even cracked the top 10.

The report suggests three main variables prompting declining happiness in the United States: behind the fall in America's happiness, citing "America's subjective well-being is being systematically undermined by three interrelated epidemic diseases, notably obesity, substance abuse (especially opioid addiction), and depression." Other related media reports assert the root causes of America's fall in happiness are due to a social demise amid a "disintegration of true social connection and support networks."

The World Happiness Report provides insight as to what these social issues are, which includes a lack of social support, increasing loneliness and isolation and the fact that people are spending a disturbing amounts of time on social media and smartphones. The report also points to America's ominous economic issues such as financial stress and income equality; the rise in materialism that's been seen in recent years that's has been linked to depression; physical problems (sugar addiction, obesity, lack of exercise).

"The negative emotions resulting from America's problems noted in the World Happiness Report, whether independently or in combination, only breed more and more unhappiness and may actually lead to other side effects like hatred, shame and fear," says Dr. Marissa Pei, a consulting psychologist and author of the newly-released title, "8 Ways to Happiness from Wherever You Are. " "Although Americans can't change the circumstances in their country overall, they can personally take steps toward achieving an enhanced level of happiness in their own lives-and it's incumbent on them to be proactive in doing so."

So it seems Dr. Marissa's book, 8 Ways to Happiness, is timely and certainly needed. In it, she addresses eight ways to transition from sadness to being happy 88% of the time. Why 88%? Dr. Marissa explains that it's not possible to be 100% happy because everyone needs contrast in their lives and can't know happiness if there aren't some points of unhappiness to contrast with. Her Chinese heritage also helped her arrive at this number because in Mandarin the number 8 is a homonym for good fortune.

8 Ways to Happiness is for anyone who has stopped to ask themselves, "Am I happy?" or "Why am I not happy?" and is not willing to spend 10 years in therapy or take a pill with side effects that can make them feel even worse than they do now. Furthermore, it is for those who already are taking medication for their "Dis-Ease" with life but still not feeling better. The eight chapters are focused on common places that human beings get "stuck," such as loneliness, loss, hatred, shame, and heartbreak, with relatable snapshots and exercises to build new roads into hope, love, faith, and happiness.

So powerful are the insights in this book that Laila Ali, the four-time undefeated boxing world champion and daughter of the great Muhammad Ali, commented, "I know strength. The kind of strength it takes to fight all the angles of adversity we face in life, as my dad gracefully role-modeled for me. Dr. Marissa has captured the essence of using inner strength and universal fortitude to process the necessary and unavoidable pain in life. You can discover the undefeated champion within you, by using this book to guide you to your strongest self!"

As with any and all of us, Dr. Marissa herself is not immune to unhappiness. Her own pain from the past, and fear of the future, helps readers identify with her new 8 Ways to Happiness book that ultimately relays a message of hope. She provides those struggling to find happiness with alternative ways of seeing their own reality, as well as a chance to practice balance tools that shovel out the "shiitake" from their past and return it as fertilizer for new seeds of understanding about the unique, beautiful, wonderful, precious beings we all are.

About Dr. Marissa Pei

Marissa Pei, Ph.D. is an Inspirational Speaker, TV Commentator, On-Air Personality 'the Asian Oprah', Consulting Psychologist, Author, Life Balance Coach, Singer/Songwriter and Global Thought Leader. Holding a doctorate in Organizational Psychology, Dr. Marissa has been speaking, coaching and facilitating to hundreds of Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, Cedars-Sinai, AT&T, Mattel, Toyota and Bank of America for the past 27 years.

Her popular syndicated talk radio show "Take My Advice, I'm Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa" on Universal Broadcasting Network out of the Sunset Gower studios in Hollywood California and syndicated on CNBC News Radio and I Heart Radio has hosted a number of past Oprah guests including Dr. John Gray, Neale Donald Walsch, Fran Drescher and Don Miguel Ruiz to name a few.

She is known as the "Asian Oprah", because of her many past Oprah guests in addition to winning the 2014 Asian Heritage Award, 2014 Lotus Business Person of the Year Award and the 2012 Asian Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She also holds the 2007 Remarkable Woman of the Year Award and the 2005 Role Model of the Year Award in Business and Media. She continues to strive for her global movement work aimed at changing planetary consciousness towards Peace, Prosperity, Joy, Balance, Creativity and Love.



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