The Key To Creating A Happy Life — And The Science That Proves It

Woodman. DailyWire+
Woodman. DailyWire+

What is the secret to a happy life? Is there a secret? Is there only one secret? These are the questions that, at the most foundational level, everyone asks throughout life. They are a part of the human condition.

I consider myself a relatively happy person, and I love and am grateful for my life. I believe gratefulness influences happiness, so I make practicing gratitude a habit. Conversely, people who live in a constant victimhood mentality (one that seems to be overtaking our culture) are, without a doubt, not happy. While we don’t need science to prove to us these people are unhappy, science just did. 

In a poorly typed tweet, the New York Post shared the results of a study which suggests “woke” people are more likely to be unhappy. Of course, we didn’t need those results to be “suggested” because we know they’re true.

The study was conducted in Finland where researchers examined the progressive ideology that has now infiltrated their culture. First, they created a social justice scale with a list of truisms, or principles of progressivism, to ask participants of the study whether they agreed or disagreed with those statements. Then, they compared the results with other behaviors based on the responses to those statements. The study’s final Critical Social Justice Attitude scale included seven truisms of woke people: 

In the end, their final Critical Social Justice Attitude Scale identified seven truisms of woke people:

  • “If white people have on average a higher level of income than black people, it is because of racism.”
  • “University reading lists should include fewer white or European authors.”
  • “Microaggressions should be challenged often and actively.”
  • “Trans* women who compete with women in sports are not helping women’s rights.” (reverse scored)
  • “We don’t need to talk more about the color of people’s skin.”
  • “A white person cannot understand how a black person feels equally well as another black person.”
  • “A member of a privileged group can adopt features or cultural elements of a less privileged group.” (reverse scored)

For the people who agreed with these principles, identifying them as the things they are concerned with on a daily basis, it is no wonder they’re unhappy. The conclusion researchers drew is the same conclusion we all could have told them without even doing this study:

However, the most concerning finding was the relationship between mental health and agreement with the scale. Specifically, researchers found a high prevalence of anxiety and depression in people who believe the statement “If white people have on average a higher income than black people, it is because of racism.” More broadly, they found that those who identified as left-wing were most likely to report lower mental well-being.

That’s correct: “They found that those who identified as left-wing were most likely to report lower mental well-being.” Color me shocked.

Although researchers noted that we should not assume this is the case in every society and country, we know that it basically is. Finland can take these results and expand them to other countries because this is truth — and it’s certainly not isolated to Finland. Columbia epidemiologists have acknowledged depression rates are higher among liberals; American Affairs, a journal of public policy and political thought, has evaluated the “well-being gap” between liberals and conservatives; and the New York Times has analyzed sadness among progressives and its self-destructive effects. This is not new information.

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Evidence for why the Left’s mental well-being is lower is evident on television, in the news, or on social media: The Left constantly eats their own. They are friendly with you — until they aren’t. You can be the champion of all their current stances and you can wave all the flags, but if you ask one wrong question or so much as step a little bit out of line, they will rip you to shreds. They will cancel you, insult you, and kick you right out of their group, which is the definition of a toxic relationship and an unhealthy environment.

The Left also promulgates a victim-centric attitude, an attitude that leads to mental illness. Psychologists have studied that fact for years, yet that exact attitude has utterly taken hold of our society. The replies to the Post’s tweet brought up these points over and over.

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Meanwhile, the people who quote tweeted told a completely different story than those who replied. They seemed to want out of the comment section to tell their own story without anyone around to disagree with them. For example, one person said that the list of progressive truisms “are also correlated with higher intelligence,” meaning that people who agree with them have a better “understanding of how society and the world works.”

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In actuality, science is split on that. On the one hand, numerous reports have been published explaining that intelligent people are miserable and unhappy because of the unbearable weight of the world; on the other, countless reports explain that intelligent people are actually incredibly happy for a myriad of reasons, usually due to their worldview, attitudes, and what they believe in terms of happiness and fulfillment. How an individual chooses to live their life has a great impact on those outcomes.

Another quote tweet said that those who are “aware of the problems” are the ones who will be upset about them.

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To be clear, conservatives are not unaware of the problems that exist in our society. We aren’t walking around in ignorant bliss and therefore not upset. Listen to any Republican or conservative give a speech and you’ll hear a Right-winger ragging on about some problem or other. (When this happens, the Left critiques us, saying we are just trying to pull society backwards by disliking everything in the modern world — which is obviously not the case.)

No, it is not that conservatives have not identified problems; rather, conservatives see different problems. We do not find problems for the sake of having a pity party and an opportunity to complain — something which, by and large, is what many people on the Left resort to. Rolling around in self-pity and complaining just to complain create feelings of powerlessness and anger, leaving them spinning in a cycle of victimhood.

People on the Right, however, are realists. I would argue that we are solution-oriented, an attribute critical to happiness. Conservatives and psychologists alike agree on this. We have hope, we’re positive, and we genuinely want conditions to improve. I genuinely care about everybody in this country, and I want them to thrive and be successful, not be dragged down by their own attitude about the world. I hope that for everyone because it benefits our society as a whole.

In an article published in the National Post titled, “Of Course Conservatives Are Happier — They Believe Society Is Worth It,” well-known Canadian psychologist and professor Gad Saad explains this phenomenon, saying:

By definition, conservatives believe that there are values, beliefs, attitudes and ideas worth conserving. Hence, they wake up every morning with a sense of existential glee; they recognize that their society, whilst far from perfect, contains many tried and tested ideas worth preserving. Liberals and progressives on the other hand wake up with a dark cloud of existential doom because their society is apparently racist, sexist, transphobic, Islamophobic and ableist. Canada supposedly sits on stolen land. Capitalism is an exploitative system that rapes Mother Earth. We have less than 15 minutes to go because of the existential crisis associated with climate change. Hence, from the perspective of the Noble Progressive, we must dismantle the current system and fight for Unicornia, which lies just around the corner. How could one be happy when there is so much ugliness in the world?

Saad’s contrast of conservatives and progressives is succinct, yet impactful. Conservatives have a hopeful and positive reason to wake up in the morning — and that changes everything. We have goals. We believe in the best of society and the best of what it can be. We have values outside our political ideology, which the Left often does not, and it is those values, like faith and family, that propel us forward and fulfill us. Saad’s acknowledgment that we “believe that there are values, beliefs, attitudes and ideas worth conserving” is accurate, in that we have solid, tried and true values that have stood the test of time. They are far more stable than the values of the Left, which change daily based on their emotions or the current trend. The fact that we have a strong foundation to stand on — that we know what we’re fighting for, that we know what works — speaks volumes.

Perhaps most importantly, we understand and accept personal responsibility, which is something many on the Left lack. We know we are responsible for our own happiness, for our outlook, and for our response to the world around us. We are responsible for our values and the circle of people we surround ourselves with. This is all intertwined with happiness. And while conquering and owning personal responsibility is difficult, it is also incredibly empowering.

Ultimately, that is why we are happier.

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