That was easy; I feel much better already.
In this week’s Wall Street Journal column, Dan Ariely mentions a research study from 2000 which showed that subjective socioeconomic status (i.e., where people ranked themselves relative to others) was more predictive of physical health and psychological well-being than actual socioeconomic rank.
The metrics used were self-rated health, heart rate, sleep latency, body fat distribution, and cortisol habituation to repeated stress.
So if I subjectively rank my socioeconomic status higher than anyone I know, then I should notice positive improvements in all of these metrics, in fact it would seem to imply that I should be the healthiest person on the planet, both physically and mentally.
Of course, there is the possibility that the results of the study from 2000 do not apply to me, since it only involved women.
If in fact for men it is actual socioeconomic rank that is more predictive of physical health and psychological well-being, then I may have some rough years ahead…
But in the meantime, I’ll just keep thinking positive thoughts,
“I’m better off than you, and you, and you, and you, …..”