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Sunday, November 11, 2007

State of Stress

It’s not your imagination—your stress level is going up! A recent survey by the American Psychological Association has confirmed that Americans are in a “state of stress.”

Tell us a little about the findings of the recent survey.
• American’s biggest stressors are money and work, which has increased in ratings from last year
• Rising housing costs rates as a high stressor for 51% of the population
• 32% of American’s report feeling extreme levels of stress on a regular basis. Add to that statistic, the fact that almost 50% of Americans believe their stress is dramatically higher than what it was just five years ago.

Are there any other differences reported in the current survey?
• Residents of the Western states report a higher degree of physical stress and tend to be less effective in managing their stress levels.
• Residents of the West tend to report more headaches, upset stomach and tightness in the chest than those in the Eastern Region of the country
• Residents of the Eastern states are more likely to see work as their main stressor with heavy workloads, choiceless jobs, and inflexible hours.

Are there any trends related to gender?
• 82% of women report experiencing physical symptoms of stress in the last month vs. 71% of males
• Women tend to experience more sleep problems (25% say they lose more than one hour per night) , overeating, & skipping meals
• Women tend to abuse more prescriptions due to stress.

What can we do to minimize our stress?
• Learn to say NO. Don’t take on more than you can handle
• Learn to balance our work, family responsibilities, and personal life
• Consider reaching out to a licensed therapist to assist with techniques that help minimize anxiety and discover methods for lowering stress through stress management techniques.


Anonymous said...

How do you balance the "state of stress" vs. creating the "life list" when people are already overwhelmed with life in general?


joymiller said...

That's a good question. The life list gives us something to strive for, to desire, and a purpose. It helps us visualize our dreams and hopes even when we are feeling overwhelmed.