Gallup polling concludes that people across the globe have reported “experiencing negative feelings and emotions like stress during 2020 than in any other year in recent history," according to Gallup’s Negative Experience Index.

And, it’s not just a year 2020 phenomenon. The trend has been on a negative trajectory for the past decade.

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"2020 officially became the most stressful year in recent history," Gallup found, based on a survey of adults in 115 different countries asking them about how they felt "during a lot of the previous day."

  • 40% experienced worry during a lot of the day.
  • 40% experienced stress.
  • 29% experienced physical pain.
  • 27% experienced sadness.
  • 24% experienced anger.

Respondents were at near record highs in 2019 and surpassed it in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The five-point jump from 35% in 2019 to 40% in 2020 represents nearly 190 million more people globally who experienced stress during a lot of the previous day," Gallup wrote.

Let’s end on a positive note. It’s not all bad news … just mostly bad news.

"That's not to say things can't or won't improve in the future. In the U.S. in 2021, people's ratings of their lives rebounded — hitting new all-time highs — and their emotions returned to pre-pandemic levels. But all the findings reinforce why it is important for leaders to ask, benchmark and understand how their people are living their lives."

SOURCE: Gallup polled adults age 15 and older in 115 different countries with nationally representative samples based on probability, with a sample size of 1,000 people or more for each country or area surveyed, and a margin of error between +/-1.1 and +/-5.5 percentage points.

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