Studies conducted by economists at the London School of Economics shows that a large proportion of individuals in the lower rungs of society seem to be in ‘misery’. One must dig deeper into this situation to actually look at the role that finances and money play in deciding how satisfied one is with their lives. Applying the notion of hedonic adaptation to society, it is clear that individuals who are employed become more adapted to having higher salaries, and often compare their standard of living with their peers. However, becoming richer is seen not to cause a significant bump in an individual’s level of satisfaction with their quality of life, as development id relative.
When someone gets richer, you may feel poorer, but both of you benefitting from development in society is probably not going to lead to a significant change in your attitude towards life. This phenomenon is known as the Easterlin Paradox, and it explains the minimal role that money and financial status play in deciding one’s level of satisfaction. Investigating further, it is clear to see that there is something else that causes this rampant ‘misery’ across all economic statuses. This common factor is mental health.
We’ve already discussed how corporates in the Indian subcontinent are exposed to a large number of varied stressors on a daily basis. It’s clear to see that anxiety and depressive tendencies that may arise from it are caused by the lifestyles people lead, the workload they face every single day, and the evaluations they make of things they face on a daily basis. A laborer, a doctor, and the editor of a magazine may all have varied skillets that lie on vastly different planes, and earn different amounts of money, but there is one common factor that unites them; this is the increasing daily load they face with the initiation of development at an exponential level in the contexts that their lived experiences figure in.
The British government has admitted that mental health, and services that deal with it are the most cost-effective way to deal with the misery that individuals face, rather than dealing with poverty and ensuring that money is isn’t a concern. This notion can definitely be applied to the fast-paced Indian context. When one ameliorates the emotional grievances that drive people to stay bottled up and not reach their potentials, it will probably help them unleash their skills, give their best, and make the most out of what they have. The relativity of development is obliterated when one is able to understand how they can make the best out of the experience that they are born into, rather than making comparisons and evaluations based on these comparisons.
It is therefore clear that governmental action towards the provision of mental health services that allow individuals to understand how they can manage the flood of emotions they face on a daily basis can go towards helping obliterate the rise in Anxiety that our country faces. Talking to professionals not only enables individuals to dispel the myths they have about the processes involved in psychology, but making it accessible to a larger span within society will probably do wonders in making individuals aware of how to live their lives in an emotionally healthy manner.
An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.