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Gen Z Are Less Happy Than Everyone Else Because of This

By The Hyperhive


16 May 2024

Gen Z less happy

©️ Freepik

New research suggests that Generation Z (Gen Z), encompassing individuals aged 12 to 26, are less happy compared to previous generations at the same age. However, a recent survey conducted by Gallup in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation has identified key factors that could significantly enhance the happiness and well-being of Gen Z members.

Short Description Of Generation Z

Born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z is the generation that has never known a world without the internet. This constant connectivity has made them tech wizards, comfortable with everything from social media to online learning. However, witnessing events like the Great Recession has instilled in them a financial cautiousness, prioritizing saving and security.

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Despite this, they are a socially conscious group, passionate about inclusivity and environmental issues. They value stability but possess an entrepreneurial spirit, and many are interested in starting their own businesses or side hustles. Social media has empowered them to be self-expressive, crafting online personas that reflect their unique identities.

While these are general characteristics, it’s important to remember Gen Z is a diverse group shaped by various factors like geography, socioeconomic background, and ethnicity.

Understanding Gen Z’s Happiness

According to the survey, approximately 75% of Gen Z individuals described themselves as at least somewhat happy. However, this percentage declines as they transition into adulthood. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z individuals between the ages of 18 and 26 are less likely to rate their lives positively.

Factors Influencing Gen Z Happiness

Two primary factors have been identified as strongly correlated with the happiness levels of Gen Z:

Gen Z less happy
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1. Sense of Purpose

Gen Z individuals derive happiness from feeling that their lives have meaning and that they are making a difference. The survey suggests that having a sense of purpose, whether in school, work, or other pursuits, is more crucial for Gen Z’s happiness than financial success or career advancement.

2. Quality Sleep and Relaxation

Another significant factor contributing to Gen Z’s happiness is the amount of time they dedicate to weekend sleep and relaxation. Individuals who prioritize adequate sleep are twice as likely to describe themselves as happy.

Gen Z Prefer Simple Life in the Mountains

In another article we saw how members of Gen Z are increasingly relocating to sparsely populated western states, indicating a shift in priorities compared to millennials. According to an analysis of Census data by StorageCafe, the Dakotas, Idaho, Iowa, and Kansas are the most popular states among Gen Z movers on a per capita basis. In 2021, South Dakota attracted the highest number of Gen Z migrants, with 20,703 individuals aged 18-23, constituting 16 percent of the state’s total move-ins.

Gen Z is showing a preference for simpler living in their housing choices, according to Emilia Mann, a senior analyst at StorageCafe. In contrast to millennials, who often choose states like DC, Washington, and Illinois, Gen Z tends to favor areas with lower population density. These places range from the mountainous terrains of Montana and Idaho to the plains of Kansas and Nebraska.

Gen Z less happy
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These states, such as the Dakotas and Idaho, are attractive not only for their natural beauty but also for robust economies anchored in energy production, manufacturing, and technology. Large employers in these states include Sanford Health in South Dakota and MDU Resources in North Dakota. Idaho stands out with the headquarters of three Fortune 500 companies: Albertsons, Micron Technology, and Boise Cascade.

Understanding Purpose

Dr. Chloe Carmichael, a clinical psychologist, emphasizes that happiness for Gen Z is not merely about chasing positive emotions but about having a sense of purpose. This purpose can be found in various aspects of life, including personal interests, relationships, and causes they support.

Dr. Broderick Sawyer, another clinical psychologist, suggests that even if Gen Z individuals cannot directly pursue their purpose, they can still find fulfillment by developing skills or gaining education related to their interests.

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Making Sleep a Priority

Dr. Rachel Salas, a professor of neurology, highlights the importance of quality sleep for Gen Z’s well-being. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep can lead to lower mood, irritability, and issues with memory and concentration, ultimately affecting happiness.

To prioritize sleep, Dr. Salas recommends:

  • Disconnecting from electronics an hour before bedtime
  • Avoiding sleeping with smartphones nearby
  • Limiting screen time
  • Maintaining a consistent bedtime and awakening time

Gen Z less happy
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While Gen Z is less happy and facing unique challenges, understanding the importance of purpose and prioritizing quality sleep can significantly enhance their happiness and well-being. By focusing on these factors, Gen Z individuals can cultivate a more fulfilling and satisfying life experience.

You might also like: Gen Z Want Less Screen S*x on TV: Enough Is Enough!

The Hyperhive

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