Helping Americans feel better about themselves and learning to cope with problems is the answer to many of the issues confronting our society. We are a divided country that struggles to deal with the misinformation that abounds on the Internet and cable news. In 2007 the USA ranked 3rd worldwide in happiness and in 2016 we ranked 19th, while the stock market doubled during those same years.
America faces a crisis that can be seen in the growing number of emotional and behavioral problems. We used to lead the world in education and innovation, but today we are leaders in anger, depression and obesity. America’s self-destructive behaviors have been well documented:
Gun violence: 30,000 incidents and over 300 mass shootings yearly.
Americans are angrier than ever with 50% noting an increase in the last year.
Stress: A leading cause of health problems costing billions yearly.
Alcohol abuse and binge drinking cost the USA 249 billion in 2010.
Loneliness: 1 in 5 Americans often feel lonely or socially isolated.
Antidepressant use increased by 65% in the last 15 years.
Suicide rates are at an all time high, especially among veterans.
Sixty-eight percent of adults are overweight or obese (34%).
Our youth struggle with depression, anger control, eating disorders and bullying, while suicide is a leading cause of death.
Our educational system struggles as 50% of urban teens drop out of high school (25% nationally) and 44% drop out of college; the USA has also fallen behind many countries in reading, math and science skills.
Gender concerns: sexual harassment and abuse, understanding the needs of the LGBT community.
The struggles of our minority communities.
We live in a divided society fueled by our social media, while politicians and cable news push a given point of view or policy regardless of the facts.
Lobbyists have too much control over our Congress and policies.
The future of the USA is a significant source of stress for 63% of Americans.
One answer: we as individuals have to improve our emotional and physical health. The belief is that it is easier to learn to cope with life issues as they occur rather than waiting until they evolve into a bigger problem. Learning strategies to help you better cope with life will also help you compromise on important issues. That is the goal of this blog, to offer strategies and ideas to become healthier and to examine the issues that block our growth and development as individuals.
When I look back at how our country has changed, these are some of the issues that have created our divided country.