Forget your morning commute or the fact that we pay the highest taxes in the country.
Hawaii has the happiest, least stressed residents in the nation, according to new results from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released last week.
Only 32.1 percent of Hawaii residents who responded to the survey said they experienced “a lot” of stress. Louisiana was second, with Mississippi third.
West Virginia has the most stressed residents, with nearly half of respondents from that state saying they feel a lot of stress. It’s also the unhappiest and fattest state of 2012. Rhode Island and Kentucky round the Top 3.
I wonder who Gallup surveyed.
Because everyone I know who lives here — who have jobs and families and aren’t independently wealthy — seem stressed. We suffer long, arduous commutes; we deal with a high cost of living that doesn’t match our salaries; we work two or more jobs just to make ends meet.
Who are these least stressed Hawaii residents — and what job do they have? Because I’m interested.
Part of the survey, though, looked at what people did in their spare time. Those living in the least stressed states, for example, spent more time doing things they enjoyed. I’m sure weather has a lot do to with that, too. You can do more here — like surf and golf — all year long, thanks to our idyllic weather.
Still. Least stressed? Maybe Gallup accidentally interviewed vacationers.
What do you think about the poll? You feel like it’s right, that we’re the least stressed residents of any state? Or do you think Gallup got it wrong?
I’m stressed, who’s not?
I think most people experience stress in life, but I generally find that people here live healthier, more balanced lives than I’ve witnessed in other major U.S. cities. It’s the culture, the climate, and the opportunities for outdoor activity and enjoyment.
I would say that we are a pretty low-stress family; we’re in a place where we feel in control of our lives. Yes, traffic is bad, but we live very frugally to afford a home in a more convenient location. We also choose to carpool as much as possible, even if it’s sometimes a challenge. And, yes, taxes are high and our income is much lower than we used to earn on the mainland, but we coupon, eat home-cooked meals, and take advantage of the amazing free resources here (e.g., the beach, the library, parks, community events) for most of our entertainment. We also love what we do, even if the pay is sometimes tough to stomach. We fund our savings, retirement, and kids’ college accounts regularly. And we splurge when we want because our everyday frugality means that we can! We’ve “taken charge” of our situation and have found a way to live a sustainable existence here in paradise. I’d probably feel stressed if we didn’t have these things worked out, though. 🙂
Hmmm, we’re moving to Oahu to feel less stress and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, and no, we’re not wealthy, although we’re professionals. We plan to liive within walking distance or short bus ride to work so commuting won’t be an issue and the kids that are coming with us are older and just out of high school so they’ll have jobs too. We’ll see, but I’m hoping it will be an overall relaxing, life-changing experience for all of us!
I’m stressed, but I go surf mid day, then work into the night. So, my work is pretty stressful (web and print graphic design), I’m always running from a deadline. BUT, I balance the stress, and “melt” it, in the water. Hawaii No Ka Oi!
I have never been happier than during my years living in Hawaii. Living in Waikiki, Ewa, and Kailua all were outstanding. In Kailua I walked down the beach to Kalapawai every morning for a snack. In Ewa it was an easy drive to the North Shore or White Sands, and in Waikiki such a great place to learn to surf. Yeah, salaries in Hawaii suck. Yeah, food prices are lousy. But when Friday nights are spent racing yachts out of the Ala Wai, Saturday’s taking the catamaran out of Kokokahi, Sundays at excellent golf courses the rest of the week was pretty amazing. The variety of food, the wonderful people at the Kawaiaha’o Church, and heading to Ala Moana to cook on the beach instead of going straight home from work was amazing. Yes, the traffic sucked so I rode the bus and worked the Sudoku, or read, or people watched. This years allergy season has lasted almost 6 weeks now. I had zero allergies in Hawaii. Spring has been unusually cool this year. Seems it is another winter to summer year. I should have been born there because I miss it every day… EVERY DAY. It is the only place on this planet I’ve been where I was completely relaxed and felt totally at home. So my stress is having to wait to move back. Maybe Gallop interviewed all the people like me.
CAT: Weather has a lot to do with it. I remember living in Europe…is was not stressed but depressed during the dark, cold, rainy times of winter and spring. Not seeing a blue sky for most of the year is really stressful.
Good Morning Cat,
Remember the opening scene in Descendants, where Geo. Clooney gives the LOW down on Hawaii? Fact is there isn’t a place where everything is perfect, so it places stress as a relative perception. Local people as a rule tend not to be professional Monku-tares, therefore look at life a bit more positively than our peers elsewhere. One of my dear friends is a most giving person, but, Cat, the words coming from her mouth is sooo neg & toxic! She brings down morale & stresses out some others. The best we can do is try to work some aloha back into her train of thought, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In Hawaii, we always try…
Hey Cat … I agree with eddyo … in general, locals tend not to be complainers … we take things for better or worse and try to make the best of it … without burdening others with our displeasure …
… and we tend to be more private especially about sharing negative information …
… but we’ll gladly share our aloha and positive emotions …
For the most part, I think most survey results appear to be made up in order to prove the desired outcome.
This subject is stressing me out.
I’ve lived in both Hawaii and California and agree with the poll. Hawaii is the only state I can think of with a phrase to treat people with deep care and respect. . . . the aloha spirit
I think everyone has stress in there life. But it’s how you handle the stress and what you do to make you feel better. I think living in this beautiful state of Hawaii helps it a lot. Besides our crazy traffic we have here that’s another story. I myself use the beach as a stress reliever. It’s free, fun, and beautiful! The ocean just soothes me and helps me to reset my button of life. It always helps me all time I leave with a smile;) “the best things in life are free”