If you sit back to evaluate your life and you don’t feel too cheery about it, you are not alone. Half of India seems to have a low sense of well-being, according to a study conducted by the humanities department of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. Well-being is a self-assessment of one’s life.
The study showed that in India, unlike in the West, well-being is not defined only by individual wellness but by the growth of others in people’s lives, mainly their families.
The seven-year study on subjective well-being (SWB) included 2,600 people across socio-economic groups. More than two-thirds were from the Mumbai metropolitan area.
“There have been several studies on SWB abroad, but those in India are based on western paradigms,” said Tithi Bhatnagar, research scholar and psychologist who carried out the survey. “As Indian society is collectivistic and not individualistic like in the West, our parameters will be different.”
“Many people think happiness is just a pleasant experience, but medical research shows that people who experience good feelings, for example, are less likely to get sick, want to meet new people and donate money,” said Robert Biswas-Diener, a US-based psychologist who is on the editorial board of the Journal of Happiness Studies.