Those of us who live in Orange County fully understand why so many of our cities place so high in a recent study of the happiest cities in the U.S. WalletHub analyzed data from 31 metrics in three categories: emotional and physical well-being; income and employment; and community and environment.
At number 12, Irvine is the highest of the four Orange County cities placing in the top 50, followed by Huntington Beach (33), Garden Grove (40) and Anaheim (41).
One of the reasons cited for Irvine’s high overall ranking was its low rate of separation and divorce – third lowest of the 182 cities included in the study.
Of course, for those who are going through a separation or divorce, happiness is often elusive. According to a separate study released last year, people going through a divorce often experience deterioration of their mental well-being, especially if their divorce includes emotional disputes over child custody or property division.
A WebMD article pointed out that it isn’t divorce alone that takes a toll on people’s mental and physical well-being.
While the legal process of divorce can be difficult – especially when litigation is involved – mental-health struggles in divorce are also the result of the “prolonged experience of relationship distress” that led to the split, said lead researcher Gert Martin Hald.
Coping with loss
Allen Sabey, a clinical assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Family Institute, agreed.
“Even if you want the divorce, you’re still dealing with the loss of the relationship,” said Sabey.
Mental Health America urges people who are facing the prospect of divorce to share feelings with friends and families and to consider joining a support group where you can talk to people experiencing similar situations. The organization also says it’s important to be unafraid to get outside help if you need it.