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Negative emotions hit record high in 2020: Gallup

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The percentage of people feeling negative emotions hit a record high last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll. 

The latest Negative Experience Index from Gallup, which tracks and analyzes the emotions and feelings of people in more than 100 countries and areas around the world, found collective emotions had reached their worst point in 15 years of reporting. 

Four in 10 adults said they had experienced worry or stress, Gallup found, and almost 3 in 10 said they had experienced physical pain. About 1 in 4, 27 percent, indicated they had experienced sadness, and 24 percent reported anger. 

2020 was the most stressful year recorded for people around the globe, the poll found. 

Stress levels increased 5 percentage points, from 35 percent in 2019 to 40 percent in 2020. The polling giant said the latest percentage represents nearly 190 million more people globally who experienced stress. 

The country that reported the highest levels of stress was Peru, at 66 percent, and the country with the lowest levels was Kyrgyzstan, at 13 percent. 

Iraq, which had the highest level of stress in 2019, came in first place overall this year in Gallup’s Negative Experience Index. At least half of all Iraqis polled in 2020 said they had experienced each of the five negative emotions  used to calculate the index score. Majorities of Iraqi respondents reported pain, anger and sadness.

The Negative Experience Index is based on surveys of respondents 15 and older in 115 countries and areas. It has a margin of error of between 1 and 5 percentage points. 

Tags Anger Emotion Gallup Stress Subjective experience
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