Stress in america 2018

Contents

42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

Effects of Stress in the Workplace statistics

20. During 2018, 76% of US workers said that workplace stress affected their personal relationships.

(Korn Ferry)

This is another statistic that demonstrates just how much workplace stress affects other areas of our life. According to research by Korn Ferry, the majority of stressed employees reported that workplace stress has impacted upon their personal relationships in a negative manner.

21. Stress caused sleep deprivation for 66% of American workers in 2018.

(Korn Ferry)

It goes without saying that stress impacts health. Two-thirds of respondents involved in Korn Ferry’s study said they had trouble sleeping as a consequence of work-related stress. Mental health in the workplace statistics clearly show that this reduces worker productivity and leads to even more stress.

22. 16% of workers have quit their jobs due to stress.

(Korn Ferry)

Increasing amounts of stress create unbearable working conditions for some. Almost every one in six workers (16%) has quit a job as a result of work-related stress.

23. 60% of workers have left a job or would leave one over a bad boss.

(Randstad USA)

As we’ve already mentioned, bosses are the main source of stress at work. When we look at the stress statistics in the workplace provided by Randstad USA, we can see that over half of workers have already quit or would quit their job if they had a bad boss.

24. 31% of surveyed US workers said that being unclear about expectations from supervisors is the most stressful element when experiencing change at work.

(Chicago Tribune)

Of 2,000 respondents who participated in the survey, 620 (31%) said that not being clear about expectations from upper management is the most stressful aspect of undergoing changes at their workplace. Once again, stress workplace statistics confirm that management-worker relations seem to be one of the most prominent factors for workplace stress.

25. Around 46% of workers are considering joining the gig economy in 2019.

(Randstad USA)

The gig economy is on the rise. Nowadays, more and more workers prefer to work independently, be their own boss, and determine their own schedule. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that a considerable number of workers want to switch over to the gig economy in order to reduce their work-related stress. Randstad USA’s statistics about stress in the workplace reveal that almost half (46%) of surveyed workers are considering switching over to the gig economy during 2019.

26. Workers say that stress and anxiety affect their work productivity and coworker relations more than any other factor.

(ADAA)

One of the most comprehensive surveys concerning stress and anxiety in the workplace comes from the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America). According to workplace productivity statistics from the ADAA, workers identify workplace productivity (56%) and relationships with coworkers and peers (51%) as being affected the most by stress and anxiety.

27. 51% of US workers are mentally “checked out” at work.

(Gallup)

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace survey looked at how engaged US workers are in the workplace. The study found more than 50% of workers are not engaged at work as a result of stress, leading to a loss of productivity.

28. 41% of stressed workers say stress leads to a loss in productivity.

(Colonial Life)

Stress negatively impacts how we perform and function both in the workplace and in our daily lives. As a recent survey conducted by Colonial Life shows, 41% of workers say stress has caused a drop in work productivity. Furthermore, stress statistics in the workplace also reveal that a third of surveyed employees say stress leads to lower engagement levels at work, while 15% say increasing pressure at work has pushed them into looking for other jobs.

29. Over a quarter of employees are at risk of burning out in the next 12 months.

(Wrike)

Being under stress for prolonged periods of time can have serious consequences. It sometimes leads to burnout, when someone reaches a tipping point where he or she is unable to work at all. Burning out doesn’t only affect people’s work; it can also lead to serious mental health issues. According to Wrike’s 2019 US workplace stress statistics, if current stress levels don’t change, more than a third of stressed office workers feel they will burn out in the next 12 months.

(ADAA)

There are significant differences in how men and women manage stress at the workplace. Women tend to eat more (46% of women compared to 27% of men) and talk with friends and family (44% compared to 21%). On the other hand, men are more likely to have sex more frequently (19% compared to 10%), while 12% of men cope by using illicit drugs, compared to only 2% of women.

31. Both men and women handle stress by consuming more caffeine (31%), smoking (27%), and exercising more frequently (25%).

(ADAA)

With ever-increasing levels of stress, it’s important to look at how we manage when things get tough. As these statistics on workplace stress by the ADAA suggest, the genders have some things in common when it comes to handling stress, although it’s fair to say these aren’t always the healthiest methods. The most common methods are consuming more caffeine (31%), followed by smoking (27%) and exercise (25%).

32. Only 40% of employees who suffer from stress have talked to their employer about it.

(ADAA)

Statistics for stress in the workplace tell us that most workers don’t feel comfortable reporting stress-related problems at work. Less than half of surveyed employees have told their employers about the work-related stress they’re experiencing.

33. 34% of workers don’t feel safe reporting stress because they think it would be interpreted as a lack of interest or unwillingness to do the activity.

(ADAA)

There are several reasons why workers don’t talk about stress with their employers. The most prominent one is that they think it will be interpreted as a lack of interest or unwillingness to do the activity (34%), followed by fear of being “weak” (31%), then because they worry it will affect promotion opportunities (22%).

34. Only four in 10 workers who report stress to their employer are offered some kind of help.

(ADAA)

When workers do end up asking for help, the response they receive is not great. Statistics on US stress in the workplace say only 40% of employees are offered help by their employers. Usually, this help consists of being referred to a mental health professional (26%) or being offered a stress-management class (22%).

Stress in America Is Gnawing Away at Our Overall Well-Being

Source: Courtesy of the American Psychological Association

In August of 2017, Americans were just as stressed out as we were at the same time last year—but chronic stress is increasingly eating away at our overall well-being, according to the latest “Stress in America: The State of Our Nation” survey, published today by the American Psychological Association. The latest survey of stress levels across America was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of APA and included a diverse cohort of almost 3,500 adults (1,376 men, 2,047 women) over the age of 18, who reside in the United States. This Nov. 1, 2017, report is the first phase of data analysis regarding the survey conducted last August.

In January 2017, the APA published their “Stress in America: Coping With Change” annual report based on survey results from August 2016. This eye-opening report documented the first significant uptick in stress levels in the U.S. since the survey began 10 years ago.

Although Americans’ stress levels in 2017 are on par with 2016, the nationwide stress level of 4.8 (on a 1 to 10 scale) is still historically high. Interestingly, this year’s survey found no significant difference in stress levels between the country’s four regions: Americans in the East reported a stress level of 4.7; those in the South, Midwest, and West all reported stress levels of 4.8.

In my opinion, the most alarming aspect of the new 2017 report is that more survey respondents are feeling the impact of stress in their sleep patterns and day-to-day lives compared to last year. For example, almost half of all Americans (45 percent) report lying awake at night and experiencing regular sleeplessness. The latest survey also reports that 75 percent of Americans experienced at least one symptom of acute stress in the month prior to the survey. More specifically, about one-third of adults said they had experienced feeling nervous or anxious (36 percent), irritability or anger (35 percent), and fatigue (34 percent) as a result of their stress levels.

Although this study doesn’t specifically analyze the psychophysiological repercussions of these statistical findings, one could speculate that the cumulative effect of chronic stress is putting Americans’ hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) and autonomic nervous systems into hyperdrive. The psychological and physical toll of stress in America will undoubtedly continue to snowball if something doesn’t change.

Source: Courtesy of American Psychological Association

The latest “Stress in America” survey also found that, on average, almost two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) said the “future of the nation” is a “very or somewhat significant” source of stress. As might be expected, this number was significantly higher for Democrats (73 percent) when compared to Republicans (56 percent) and independents (59 percent). Regardless of party affiliation, when asked to think about the state of our nation in 2017, nearly six in 10 adults (59 percent) responded that the current levels of social divisiveness in the U.S. cause them distress.

Additionally, more than half of Americans (59 percent) said they consider this the “lowest point in U.S. history that they can remember.” Notably, this statistic spanned every generation, including those who lived through World War II and Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the September 11th terrorist attacks.

In a statement, Arthur C. Evans Jr., who is APA’s chief executive officer, said:

“We’re seeing significant stress transcending party lines. The uncertainty and unpredictability tied to the future of our nation is affecting the health and well-being of many Americans in a way that feels unique to this period in recent history. With 24-hour news networks and conversations with friends, family and other connections on social media, it’s hard to avoid the constant stream of stress around issues of national concern. These can range from mild, thought-provoking discussions to outright, intense bickering, and over the long term, conflict like this may have an impact on health. Understanding that we all still need to be informed about the news, it’s time to make it a priority to be thoughtful about how often and what type of media we consume.”

On a positive note, 51 percent of Americans say that the state of our nation has inspired them to volunteer and/or support causes that reflect their core values.

In terms of lifestyle choices for coping with stress: Physical activity, listening to music, spending time with friends/family, yoga/meditation, and prayer were among the top methods of stress management.

For the first time, more than half of Americans (53 percent) see exercise as a reliable way to cope with stress. This is a noteworthy increase compared to previous years of the “Stress in America” survey.

Along this same line, another recent study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association reported that working out in group fitness classes lowers stress by 26 percent and can significantly improve quality of life. The osteopathic researchers hypothesize that the face-to-face connectivity created by coming together with friends and workout buddies to do something physically challenging creates an upward spiral of overall well-being that outshines the stress-busting benefits of doing physical exercise by yourself.

A Lot of Americans Are More Anxious Than They Were Last Year, a New Poll Says

Almost 40% of Americans are more anxious than they were at this time last year, according to a new American Psychiatric Association (APA) poll.

The APA surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults about their sources and levels of anxiety, and found that 39% reported being more anxious than they were at this time last year. Another 39% said they were equally anxious, while only 19% said they were less anxious than last year.

Approximately 40 million American adults — roughly 18% of the population — have an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Safety, health and finances seemed to be the greatest sources of anxiety, according to the APA poll. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said “keeping myself or my family safe” and “my health” made them either somewhat or extremely anxious. Sixty-seven percent said the same of “paying my bills or expenses.” Politics and interpersonal relationships followed at 56% and 48%, respectively.

Even as anxiety spiked, however, few respondents said they had sought out mental health care — despite the fact that 86% strongly or somewhat agreed that mental health has an impact on physical health, and half agreed that stigma associated with mental illness has decreased over the last decade. Only 28% said they had seen a mental health professional of any kind.

Fifty-eight percent, however, said they felt they had very or somewhat adequate mental health coverage under their current insurance plan. Only 12% felt their coverage was “not that adequate” or “not adequate at all.” Eighty-one percent said they would know how to access mental health care if they needed it.

The spike in anxiety is perhaps unsurprising, given past American Psychological Association research that has found significant numbers of Americans also consider themselves stressed. As of December 2017, 63% of Americans said the future of the nation was a significant source of stress, and 59% felt that “the United States is at the lowest point they can remember in history,” according to the organization’s “Stress in America” survey.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of the group that conducted the poll. It is the American Psychiatric Association, not the American Psychological Association.

Write to Jamie Ducharme at [email protected]

Stressed in America

Boil down the findings from APA’s 2010 Stress in America survey, and the message is clear: Chronic stress — stress that interferes with your ability to function normally over an extended period — is becoming a public health crisis.

“America is at a critical crossroads when it comes to stress and our health,” says APA Chief Executive Officer Norman B. Anderson, PhD.

Part of APA’s Mind/Body Health campaign, the survey revealed the impact stress is having on Americans’ physical and emotional health. Harris Interactive conducted the online survey of adults and young people ages 8 to 17 in August.

Key findings include:

  • Stress is up. Most Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress, with 44 percent reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years. Concerns about money, work and the economy top the list of most frequently cited sources of stress. Fears about job stability are on the rise, with 49 percent of respondents citing such fears as a source of stress — up from 44 percent last year.

  • Children are hurting. Stress is also taking a toll on kids. Almost a third of children reported that in the last month they had experienced a physical health symptom often associated with stress, such as headaches, stomach aches or trouble falling or staying asleep. In addition, parents don’t realize their own stress is affecting their kids. While 69 percent of parents say their stress has only a slight or no impact on their children, just 14 percent of youth say their parents’ stress doesn’t bother them. Stress is a special problem for the third of young respondents who reported being slightly or very overweight. Overweight children worry more than normal-weight children, the survey found. The relationship between stress and overweight is bidirectional, says psychologist Kathryn Henderson, PhD, director of school and community initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. “Weight gain can be both cause and consequence of stress,” she says. When kids are under stress, she explains, they may eat too much, sleep too much or favor sedentary coping activities like watching television; the resulting weight gain and the teasing and bullying that often accompany it can lead in turn to more stress, creating a cycle that can be difficult to escape from.

  • Self-care isn’t a priority. Only 40 percent of Americans rate their health as very good or excellent. They also know they’re not doing a good job taking care of themselves. While 54 percent agreed that physical activity was very or extremely important, for example, just 27 percent of respondents were happy about their own level of exercise. Instead of managing their stress in healthy ways, Americans are indulging in unhealthy behaviors: Almost a third of adults say they skipped a meal because of stress in the past month. Two-fifths reported overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress. And more than 40 percent reported that they had lain awake at night.

  • Lack of willpower is a problem. Americans cite lack of willpower as the biggest barrier to adopting healthier behavior. But 70 percent believe that willpower is something they can learn or improve — if only they had more money, energy or confidence in their ability to change. To Henderson, those responses are misguided but not surprising given our culture’s emphasis on personal responsibility. “Survey respondents are mistakenly looking to some kind of inner strength to make the kinds of health behavior changes we want to see, when the reality is in large part they’re at the mercy of their environment,” she says, pointing to data on the role of food costs, advertising and other environmental factors in shaping eating behavior. “Our job is to teach people how to structure their environment to increase the likelihood of making healthy choices at any given time.”

By raising awareness of stress and its impact, says Anderson, the survey is good news for both Americans in general and psychologists. Within the first week of the survey’s release, there were more than 800 stories about it in newspapers, television programs, radio stations and online news channels.

—R.A. Clay

More Americans than ever before are stressed, depressed and anxiety-ridden, and many are unable to get the help they need, a new study suggests.

An estimated 8.3 million American adults — about 3.4 percent of the U.S. population — suffer from serious psychological distress, an evaluation of federal health data concluded. Previous estimates put the number of Americans suffering from serious psychological distress at 3 percent or less, the researchers said.

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“Mental illness is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. And access to care for the mentally ill is getting worse,” said lead researcher Judith Weissman. She’s a research manager in the department of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

This increase is likely a lasting after-effect of the Great Recession that began in late 2007 — a stress-filled time that caused long-term emotional damage to many Americans, Weissman suggested.

Many people psychologically affected by the Great Recession haven’t been able to get the help they need, either because they can’t afford it or because their condition hampers their ability to seek out treatment, she said.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of Americans live with serious psychological distress, an umbrella term that runs from general hopelessness and nervousness all the way up to diagnosable conditions such as depression and anxiety, Weissman explained.

“The recession seemed to have pushed the mentally ill to a point where they never recovered,” she said. “This is a very disturbing finding because of the implications of what mental illness can do to a person in terms of their ability to function and their life span.”

The study included national health data from a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 35,000 households nationwide participate each year.

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The investigators found that between 2006 and 2014, access to health care services deteriorated for people with serious psychological distress, compared to people without emotional distress.

Comparing self-reported psychological distress symptoms across nine years, the research team estimated that nearly one in 10 distressed Americans in 2014 did not have health insurance that would give them access to a psychiatrist or mental health counselor.

In 2014, people with serious psychological distress were nearly three times more likely to experience delays in getting professional help due to insufficient mental health coverage than people without serious distress, the study findings showed.

Approximately 10 percent of people with serious psychological distress could not afford to pay for their psychiatric care in 2014, up from just under 9 percent in 2006.

The economic turmoil caused by the Great Recession struck at the heart of the American dream, rattling some to their core, Weissman said.

“Earning and sustaining a living is getting harder for people, especially for men,” Weissman said. “The loss of jobs could mean there’s a loss of community and a loss of role as wage earners and providers.”

Dr. Harsh Trivedi is president and CEO of Sheppard Pratt Health System, a Maryland mental health provider. He said constant noise from the internet and social media likely serve to amp up people’s anxiety and angst.

“In the past, you may go out and meet with your friends and talk about something, but when you got home you’d go to sleep,” Trivedi said. “The difficulty now is you can’t really turn things off. We don’t necessarily have downtimes to recharge and get our bearings straight again.”

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Weissman pointed out that psychologically distressed people already struggle to deal with the health care system, and on top of that there are national shortages of mental health professionals.

And, Trivedi added, the ongoing debate over the Affordable Care Act isn’t doing distressed individuals any favors.

“If you are in a more distressed state, how easy is it for you, from a psychological perspective, to seek care?” Trivedi said. “If the overall market is shifting, and you are more psychologically distressed, how are you going to have the faculties to keep track of your access to health care?”

Weissman said insurance companies should pay for mental health services, which need to be more fully integrated into primary care for people.

“We need to increase access to care for the mentally ill,” she said. “We also need to put trained psychiatrists and mental health providers within the primary care setting. If you have linkages of care within primary care, then the mentally ill patient can be helped even if they’ve come in for some other reason.”

The study was published April 17 in the journal Psychiatric Services.

Great Britain and Stress – How bad is it and why is it happening?

Stress is a widespread issue, so we based our survey on a 2000-strong study group from across Great Britain. The participants were from hugely diverse backgrounds, represented different age groups and hailed from various regions. The results we unearthed were worrying and reinforced our belief that we need to make drastic changes to our lifestyles to become a healthier nation.

According to our data, over a third (37%) of British residents feel stressed for at least one full day per week. That equates to four days in a month at minimum. However, it doesn’t end there; when taking into account the entire study group, Brits feel stressed for an average of nine days per month.

Those who don’t feel stressed at all are very much in the minority, coming in at around 15% of all participants. That means that the remaining 85% are experiencing a clearly recognisable level of worry regularly.

So, what causes it? The data we generated revealed that the most common cause of stress amongst our participants was money. Another popular reason given was work, followed by health concerns, then failure to get enough sleep, then the pressure of household chores.

Over a third of the Brits that took part admitted that they were too stressed throughout their day to day lives. Indeed more than half told us that they were worried about the impact this was having on their health – with good reason.

When we feel stressed a hormone called cortisol is released by the body. If this happens too often our body can no longer respond to stress and we start to feel enormously fatigued.

Stress can also exacerbate heart problems, respiratory conditions and digestive issues to name just a few, and can even cause ongoing muscle tension which may lead to a higher likelihood of injury during physical exertion. Mental wellbeing can very easily fall victim too, with the likes of anxiety and depression spiraling to extremely unhealthy levels during stressful periods.

So, what can we do to alleviate these problems? Firstly we need to know how well our body is copying by gaining insight into our inside health through measuring key biomarkers such as cortisol. We can then start to make changes to our lifestyle. In our survey, just under a third of the residents of Great Britain use endorphin-producing exercise to overcome a crushing sense of pressure. Exercise, of course, offers the added bonus of bolstering your physical health. Others preferred getting outside for a walk, watching television, reading a book or listening to music.

Women are more stressed than men

Of the two sexes, women are substantially more likely to be stressed than men. The female participants of our survey admitted that, on average, they suffered from stress for three more days per month than their male counterparts. Money is the most common cause of stress amongst this particular demographic, while men tend to cite work as the reason they feel under pressure.

Of the women who took part in the study, 42% believed that they were too stressed throughout their day to day life, while 36% of men believed that this was the case for themselves. When it came to the impact of stress on one’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, a huge 59% of women admitted that it worried them, while 47% of men were concerned about it.

To fight back against the pressure, it appears that the majority of women seek relief through watching television, while most men would prefer to take themselves out for a walk.

Students suffer from stress the most

A rather surprising set of statistics reveals that some of the most stressed members of society are those who are of “university age” – falling within the 18-24 bracket. Very worryingly, they struggle with stress for over 12 days of every month on average and are the age group most likely to worry about its impact on their health.

Their stress is usually surrounding financial matters, while work takes over as the primary concern for those aged between 25 and 34. The majority of 35-44-year olds find that it’s a bit of both, while people aged between 45 and 54 agree that work is the most stressful element of their lives. At 55 and over, concerns about health take over.

Each age group deals with stress in their own way. From 18 to 24, people are more likely to listen to music. From 25 to 34, exercise proves the most effective escape, while 35-44-year olds prefer to watch television. Those over 45 like to go walking.

Residents of Northern Ireland are most stressed

Stress levels in Britain are even divisible by region. According to our research, Northern Ireland suffers the most, with its residents admitting to suffering from stress over more than 12 days per month on average. Those least stressed tend to hail from the North East, where they spend around seven days per month feeling the pressure.

Health problems keep those from East Anglia and the East Midlands up at night, while residents of London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire find work more stressful. Money problems trouble participants from the North East, North West, Scotland, the South East, the South West and Wales, while those from Northern Ireland struggle with a combination of work-based and financial concerns. They are also more likely to worry about the lasting impact stress will have on their health.

There’s even a regional divide when it comes to stress relief. Londoners and those from Northern Ireland prefer exercise, television is the preferred remedy of East Anglia, the East and West Midlands, the North East and the South East, and those from the North West, South West, Wales, Yorkshire and Scotland prefer to go for a walk.

So, what can we do? As a country, we need to pay more attention to rapidly rising stress levels and work to diminish them. Individually, we need to take more control of our health by understanding the impact our lifestyle is having on our inside health. Then develop ways to change and improve it. Here at Forth we believe by empowering people with information about their inner health, is the first step in improving your wellbeing so you can live a longer, healthier and hopefully happier life.

Find out how stressed your body is by measuring your cortisol levels with a simple lab analysed home finger-prick blood kit.

By The Recovery Village Editor Megan Hull Reviewer Eric Patterson Updated on01/27/20

At times, stress is a helpful tool capable of boosting energy and attention. Most of the time, though, stress is a negative force in a person’s life that triggers a host of unwanted effects.

Stress is a nearly universal human experience, so every person can benefit from learning about the condition. By understanding just how widespread and harmful stress is, a person can begin to take action against its effects.

Table of Contents

How Common Is Stress?

Regardless of age, sex, ethnicity and religion, no one is immune to the burdens of stress. Statistics demonstrate the widespread prevalence of this state of mind.

According to The American Institute of Stress:

  • About 33 percent of people report feeling extreme stress
  • 77 percent of people experience stress that affects their physical health
  • 73 percent of people have stress that impacts their mental health
  • 48 percent of people have trouble sleeping because of stress

Unfortunately, for about half of all Americans, levels of stress are getting worse instead of better.

The Global Organization for Stress reports that:

  • 75 percent of Americans experienced moderate to high stress levels in the past month
  • Stress is the number one health concern of high school students
  • 80 percent of people feel stress at work

People who tend to experience particularly high rates of stress include:

  • Ethnic minorities
  • Women
  • Single parents
  • People responsible for their family’s health care decisions

Worldwide Impact of Stress

While stress is a significant problem in the U.S., the rest of the world is not immune to its harmful effects. Stress is a global problem with:

  • 91 percent of Australians feeling stressed about one or more important parts of their life
  • About 450,000 workers in Britain believing their stress was making them ill
  • 86 percent of Chinese workers reporting stress

Prevalence of Stress Disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder are stress disorders triggered by traumatic experiences. Currently, 3.5 percent of adults in the U.S. have PTSD during a given year. Acute stress disorder affects as many as half of all people exposed to a serious or life-threatening stressor.

Top Causes of Stress

Depending on a person’s thinking patterns and coping skills, almost anything can cause stress. Some of the most frequently cited sources of stress include:

  • Money
  • Work
  • The economy
  • Family responsibilities
  • Relationships
  • Personal health issues
  • Housing costs
  • Job stability
  • Family health problems
  • Personal safety

Common Symptoms of Stress

Once a source triggers stress, various symptoms emerge unless the person uses effective coping skills to manage the problem. The most common symptoms of stress and the percentage of people who experienced them include:

  • Irritability and anger: 45 percent of people
  • Fatigue or low energy: 41 percent
  • Lack of motivation or interest in things: 38 percent
  • Anxiety, nervousness or worry: 36 percent
  • Headaches: 36 percent
  • Feeling sad or depressed: 34 percent
  • Indigestion, acid reflux or upset stomach: 26 percent
  • Muscle tension: 23 percent
  • Appetite changes: 21 percent

People may also experience:

  • Sexual problems
  • Weight changes
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Forgetfulness and lack of attention

Cost and Impact of Stress

Every day, people stay home from work, miss school, go to the doctor or even die because of the effects of stress. It’s estimated that American employers spend $300 billion every year on health care and lost work days linked to stress. Up to 80 percent of workplace accidents come from stress or stress-related problems, like being too distracted or tired.

Stress is a costly issue in other areas of the world, too. People in the United Kingdom (UK) miss 13.7 million days of work due to stress each year. The problem costs $14.2 billion in Australia and about $37 billion in the UK in lost productivity each year.

Stress and Co-Occurring Health Conditions

Stress affects the entire body and is linked to many co-occurring mental and physical health problems, like:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Long-term stress is often a contributing factor in many of the leading causes of death in the United States, including heart disease, cancer, lung disease, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.

High stress levels can often also lead to substance use. When stress is high and a person is desperate to relax, they may turn to alcohol and other drugs. Paradoxically, drugs and alcohol often increase stress in the long run, especially if an individual develops addiction or dependence.

Stress Prognosis and Outlook

The stress prognosis is based on factors like the source, intensity and duration of stress. It may also be affected by an individual’s available coping skills and social support systems. When stress is high and available coping skills are low, the effects of stress are more likely, which can shorten someone’s lifespan.

Diagnosing Stress Disorders

If someone suspects they have a stress-related disorder, they should schedule an evaluation with a medical professional immediately. For physical health symptoms, consider heading to a primary care physician. A mental health expert can address the psychological symptoms of stress.

Medical professionals can perform a series of tests and assessments to understand and identify the problem. Not only can they accurately diagnosis the disorder, but they can also prescribe helpful treatments to reduce symptoms.

Statistics on Stress Treatment

Stress treatment can add a tremendous amount of coping skills and supports to a person in a stressful environment. The best success will occur when treatment targets the source of stress directly, rather than the side effects of stress.

For example, if someone has high blood pressure, taking a blood pressure medication will help, but it will not resolve the source of the symptom: stress. The most successful treatments work to reduce stress and improve a person’s reaction to stress.

Most treatments for stress reduction focus on:

  • Identifying the signs of stress
  • Getting plenty of sleep and exercise
  • Practicing relaxation skills
  • Setting goals and establishing priorities
  • Spending time with people you love

Treatments for stress can be extremely effective when started early and continued with consistency. If you live with both stress and addiction, help is available. Call The Recovery Village to speak to a representative about the damaging effects of substance abuse and stress in your life and explore your treatment options.

The American Institute of Stress. “What is Stress?” Accessed on April 13, 2019.

American Psychiatric Association. “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition.” 2013.

American Psychological Association. “Stressed in America.” January 2011. Accessed on April 13, 2019.

Berger, F.K. “Stress and Your Health.” U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus, May 5, 2018. Accessed on April 13, 2019.

Global Organization for Stress. “Stress Facts.” Accessed on April 13, 2019.

Herscher, E. “Gender and Stress.” HealthDay, January 1, 2019. Accessed on April 13, 2019.

Southern Louisiana Medical Associates. “The Science of Stress.” Accessed on April 13, 2019.

Smith, J. “Here’s Why Workplace Stress is Costing Employers $300 billion a Year.” Business Insider, June 6, 2016. Accessed on April 13, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

STRESS FACTS

STRESS RELATED FACTS AND STATISTICS

  • The Stress in America survey results show that adults continue to report high levels of stress and many report that their stress has increased over the past year – American Psychological Association.
  • 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year – American Psychological Association.
  • Approximately 1 out of 75 people may experience panic disorder – National Institutes of Mental Health.
  • Stress is a top health concern for U.S. teens between 9th and 12th grade, psychologists say that if they don’t learn healthy ways to manage that stress now, it could have serious long-term health implications – American Psychological Association.
  • 80% of workers feel stress on the job and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress. And 42% say their co-workers need such help – American Institute of Stress.
  • Stress levels in the workplace are rising with 6 in 10 workers in major global economies experiencing increased workplace stress. With China (86%) having the highest rise in workplace stress – The Regus Group
  • Alarmingly 91% of adult Australians feel stress in at least one important area of their lives. Almost 50% feel very stressed about one part of their life – Lifeline Australia.
  • Australian employees are absent for an average of 3.2 working days each year through stress. This workplace stress costs the Australian economy approximately $14.2 billion – Medibank
  • An estimated 442,000 individuals in Britain, who worked in 2007/08 believed that they were experiencing work-related stress at a level that was making them ill – Labour Force Survey.
  • Approximately 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK as a result of work-related illness at a cost of £28.3 billion per year – National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
  • Depression is among the leading causes of disability worldwide – World Health Organization
  • Fewer than 25% of those with depression world-wide have access to effective treatments – World Health Organization.

FROM THE GLOBAL ORGANIZATION FOR STRESS

These stress related facts are compiled for you by the Association of the Global Organization for Stress. Interested in learning more about stress, stress management and stress relief? Then we invite you to sign up for free membership today and get a free copy of our popular ‘101 Ways to Less Stress’ Guide.

30 Ways Stress Can Affect Your Body

Stress is a term you’re likely familiar with. You may also know exactly what stress feels like. However, what does stress exactly mean? This body response is natural in the face of danger, and it’s what helped our ancestors cope with occasional hazards. Short-term (acute) stress isn’t likely to cause any major health concerns.

But the story’s different with long-term (chronic) stress. When you’re under stress for days — or even weeks or months — you’re at risk for numerous health effects. Such risks may extend to your body and mind, as well as your emotional well-being. Stress may even lead to an inflammatory response in the body, which has been associated with numerous chronic health issues.

Learn more facts about stress, as well as some of the possible contributing factors. Knowing the signs and causes of stress can help you treat it.

1. Stress is a hormonal response from the body

This response all starts with a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. When you’re stressed, the hypothalamus sends signals throughout your nervous system and to your kidneys.

In turn, your kidneys release stress hormones. These include adrenaline and cortisol.

2. Women appear more prone to stress than men

Women are more likely to experience more physical signs of stressed compared to their male counterparts.

This doesn’t mean that men don’t experience stress. Instead, men are more likely to try to escape from the stress and not exhibit any signs.

3. Stress can overburden your mind with incessant worries

You may be flooded with thoughts about the future and your daily to-do list.

Rather than focusing on one item at a time though, these thoughts bombard your mind all at once, and it’s difficult to escape them.

4. You may feel jittery from stress

Your fingers may shake, and your body might feel off-balance. Sometimes dizziness can occur. These effects are linked to hormonal releases — for example, adrenaline can cause a surge of jittery energy throughout your body.

5. Stress can make you feel hot

This is caused by a rise in blood pressure. You may get hot in situations where you’re nervous too, such as when you have to give a presentation.

6. Being stressed can make you sweat

Stress-related sweat is usually a follow-up to excessive body heat from stress. You might sweat from your forehead, armpits, and groin area.

7. Digestive problems may occur

Stress can make your digestive system go haywire, causing diarrhea, stomach upset, and excessive urination.

8. Stress can make you irritable, and even angry

This is due to an accumulation of stress’s effects in the mind. It can also occur when stress affects the way you sleep.

9. Over time, stress can make you feel sad

Constant overwhelming stress can take its toll, and bring down your overall outlook on life. Feelings of guilt are possible too.

10. Long-term stress can increase your risk of mental health disabilities

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety and depression are the most common.

11. Insomnia may be stress-related

When you can’t quiet down racing thoughts at night, sleep may be hard to come by.

12. Daytime sleepiness can happen when you’re stressed

This may be related to insomnia, but sleepiness may also develop from simply being exhausted from chronic stress.

13. Chronic headaches are sometimes attributed to stress

These are often called tension headaches. The headaches may crop up every time you encounter stress, or they may be ongoing in cases of long-term stress.

14. With stress, you may even find it difficult to breathe

Shortness of breath is common with stress, and it can then turn into nervousness.

People with social anxiety often have shortness of breath when they encounter stressful situations. The actual breath issues are related to tightness in your breathing muscles. As the muscles get more tired, your shortness of breath may worsen. In extreme cases, this may lead to a panic attack.

15. Your skin is sensitive to stress too

Acne breakouts can occur in some people, while others might have itchy rashes. Both symptoms are related to an inflammatory response from stress.

16. Frequent stress decreases your immune system

In turn, you’ll likely experience more frequent colds and flus, even when it isn’t the season for these illnesses.

17. In women, stress may mess up your regular menstrual cycles

Some women may miss their period as a result of being stressed.

18. Stress may affect your libido

One study found that women reported feeling less interested in sex when they were anxious. Their bodies also reacted differently to sexual stimulation when they were anxious.

19. Chronic stress can cause substance abuse

People who experience a lot of stress are more likely to smoke cigarettes and misuse drugs and alcohol. Depending on these substances for stress relief can cause other health problems.

20. Stress increases your risk for type 2 diabetes

This is associated with cortisol releases that can increase blood glucose (sugar) production.

21. Ulcers may get worse

Although stress doesn’t directly cause ulcers, it can aggravate any existing ulcers you may already have.

22. Weight gain from chronic stress is possible

Excessive cortisol releases from adrenal glands above the kidneys may lead to fat accumulation. Stress-related eating habits, such as eating junk food or binge eating, may also lead to excess pounds.

23. High blood pressure develops from chronic stress

Chronic stress and an unhealthy lifestyle will cause your blood pressure to rise. Over time, high blood pressure can cause permanent damage to your heart.

24. Stress is bad for your heart

Abnormal heartbeats and chest pain are symptoms that can be caused by stress.

25. Past experiences can cause stress later in life

This could be a flashback or a more significant reminder related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Women are up to three times more likely to have PTSD than men.

26. Your genes can dictate the way you handle stress

If you have a family member with overactive responses to stress, you might experience the same.

27. Poor nutrition can make your stress worse

If you eat a lot of junk or processed foods, the excess fat, sugar, and sodium increase inflammation.

28. A lack of exercise is stress-inducing

In addition to being good for your heart, exercise also helps your brain make serotonin. This brain chemical can help you maintain a healthy outlook on stress, while warding off anxiety and depression.

29. Relationships play a key role in your daily stress levels

A lack of support at home can make stress worse, while not taking time off with your friends and family can have similar effects.

30. Knowing how to manage stress can benefit your entire life

According to the Mayo Clinic, people who manage stress tend to live longer and healthier lives.

The bottom line

Everyone experiences occasional stress. Because our lives are increasingly jam-packed with obligations, such as school, work, and raising kids, it can seem like a stress-free day is impossible.

Given all the negative effects long-term stress can have on your health, though, it’s worth making stress relief a priority. (Over time, you’ll likely be happier, too!).

If stress is getting in the way of your health and happiness, talk to your doctor about ways you can help manage it. Aside from diet, exercise, and relaxation techniques, they may also recommend medications and therapies.

The findings were not all bleak for the United States. Despite having widespread negative experiences, Americans also generally reported more positive experiences, on average, than the rest of the world did.

Globally, just 49 percent of those interviewed said they had learned or had done something interesting the day before. In the United States, however, 64 percent of adults said the same.

The two sets of questions, about negative and positive experiences, are unconnected, according to Ms. Ray. An individual can, for example, feel both stressed and well rested for much of a given day.

“If you think about how you felt yesterday, you didn’t just feel one way the entire day,” she said.

Negative experiences were assessed by asking about physical pain, worry, sadness, stress and anger. Positive experiences were measured by asking whether individuals felt well-rested, felt treated with respect, smiled or laughed, learned or did something interesting and felt enjoyment.

The margin of error in the poll ranged from 2.1 to 5.3 percentage points, depending on the country. The results for the United States, where interviews were conducted from Aug. 13 to Sept. 30, had a margin of error of four percentage points.

Negative experiences remained at record highs

Worldwide, negative experiences were just as widespread last year as in 2017, which was the darkest year for humanity in more than a decade, according to Gallup. While stress declined globally, anger increased. Worry and sadness reached new heights, and feelings of physical pain were unchanged.

‘Frazzled’ on the Job: More Than 80 Percent of American Workers Are Stressed Out

Every day brings a fresh outbreak of headlines about the Coronavirus, each one scarier than the last. The fear is palpable and has resulted in the Chinese government taking extreme measures to quarantine entire cities while other countries like the United States keep a nervous eye on travelers arriving from Asia.

Concerns have been raised about how governments should respond while public fears continue to grow as the news seems to get worse each day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cautioning against nonessential travel to China, while scientists are working as fast as they can to create an effective vaccine to deal with it.

Unfortunately, at this point little is known about the Coronavirus regarding its origins, how it is spread, and even less is known about how deadly it will turn out to be.

This leads to inevitable questions about how employers should react and what steps they should take in the face of fears that the virus may become more widespread in the U.S. Fortunately, we already have considerable experience dealing with the flu, which rears its ugly head every winter in its multifarious forms, and kills far more people each year than the Coronavirus has so far.

As of this writing, the Coronavirus is estimated to have caused the deaths of 210 people in China, and over 8,000 have been infected with it in more than a dozen countries. So far, only five individuals in the U.S. have been found to have contracted it, while more than 110 people were being tested for the disease in 26 states. On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency,

By contrast, more than 8,200 Americans have died of the flu so far this winter, and 34,000 died of the flu last year, which was not considered to have been a particularly severe year for that illness. WHO has estimated the flu kills up to 650,000 people per year worldwide. Public health officials have not been shy about observing that when it comes to the deadliness of the ordinary flu vs. the Coronavirus, there is simply no comparison.

Some of the advice about dealing with the Coronavirus threat seems obvious, such as keeping a close eye on employees who have recently returned from China and blocking any travel to that country by employees for the foreseeable future. At the same time, managers need to guard against employees of Chinese or other Asian ancestry being discriminated against by ignorant fellow employees or customers. The best way to prevent that occurring is through education.

The CDC offers general information about the disease as well as regular news updates about its progress on the center’s website, which employers can access and provide to their employees, recommends attorney Emma Follansbee of the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. As an employer, the goal at the outset is to instill confidence in employees that you are continuing to monitor the outbreak, and are proceeding with the employees’ best interests in mind.

“Providing education and information on the virus itself should be brief, and reiterate only what official sources have issued,” she adds. “In educating employees on this topic, ‘less is more’ in many ways. Employers are generally not experts on the Coronavirus or other viruses, and will want to avoid opining on the effects or contraction of a disease.”

Follansbee stresses the importance of managers and human resources staff to provide accurate, uniform information about the outbreak of the disease if and when questions are presented, and to avoid offering uninformed medical opinions about the effects of the disease and how it is spread.

Adopt Workplace Policies

According to attorney Howard A. Mavity of the Fisher Phillips law firm, the next step is to “repeatedly, creatively and aggressively encourage employees, students and others to take steps to avoid the flu. Perhaps the most important message is to stay home if sick. These same measures would most likely stop any spread of the current Coronavirus.”

He says managers should advise employees to:

● Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

● Stay home when you are sick.

● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

● Surgical masks have not been proven to definitively protect someone because they may not be tight and allow droplets around the edges. However, masks prevent you from unconsciously touching your eyes, nose and mouth, so they may offer a measure of protection, he says.

Mavity also advises that if any employee comes into work with a fever or difficulty in breathing, this indicates that they should seek medical evaluation. “While these symptoms are not always associated with influenza and the likelihood of their having Coronavirus is extremely low, it pays to err on the side of caution,” he suggests.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a new webpage for employers that links to resources on the agency’s site about workplace safety and health issues raised by the Coronavirus outbreak.

These other links connect to OSHA recommendations about how to prevent exposure to healthcare, clinical laboratory, airline, waste management and other workers. It also links to several agency standards and directives that may apply in the outbreak, including the general duty clause that obligates all employers to maintain a safe and healthy workplace, notes attorney David E. Dubberly of the Nexsen Pruet law firm.

Other links take employers to OSHA’s personal protective equipment (PPE) standard, and OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements: The PPE standard requires that protective equipment, clothing and barriers be provided whenever necessary to prevent employees from being exposed to environmental hazards.

The recordkeeping and reporting requirements mandate that certain employers keep a record of work-related illnesses and injuries. According to OSHA, while recordkeeping regulations exempt recording of the common cold and flu, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus “is a recordable illness when a worker is infected on the job.” In addition, reporting requirements may apply.

OSHA’s webpage also links to the latest CDC recommendations on travel to China. In making decisions about international business travel, employers should keep the general duty clause in mind, Dubberly advises.

Why Are Americans So Stressed Out?

Americans’ booming economy and unparalleled affluence are the envy of the world. Our entertainment technology keeps us constantly amused. We have the freedom to do pretty much whatever we like. So why are Americans so stressed out?

According to a global Gallup poll aimed at assessing the world’s emotional state, the United States ranked fourth in the world in the percentage of citizens saying that that they are experiencing day-to-day “a lot” of stress.

Greece came in first with 59%, which makes sense, as the Greeks are struggling to pull out of a collapsed economy. Next comes the Philippines (58 percent) and Tanzania (57%), both developing nations with big problems.

But then comes the United States at 55%. This puts Americans in a four-way tie with Albania (still struggling to come out of Stalinism), Sri Lanka (with its terrorist bombings), and, remarkably, Iran, whose official and unofficial “morality police” enforce every restriction of Islamic Sharia law.

How could Americans, in our free and prosperous country, have the same level of stress as Iranians, who live in an authoritarian country crippled by economic sanctions?

Does this study give social-scientific evidence that money–or lifestyle or liberty or pleasure–doesn’t buy happiness?

Gallup drills down into the stress level of Americans. The researchers found that the stress level today is actually worse than it was during the Great Recession. And yet, money evidently buys some relief from stress, which is higher (68 percent), among the 20 percent with the lowest income than it is among the 20 percent with the highest income (only 46 percent of whom experience “a lot” of stress). This is understandable, since few things are as stressful as struggling to make ends meet and to provide for oneself and one’s family when the money isn’t there.

Our political polarization apparently contributes to our stress. Those who oppose President Trump have a higher level of stress (62 percent) than those who support him (45 percent). A large number of Americans are so invested in politics and are so preoccupied with our government that having a president they disapprove of puts them under intense emotional pressure.

I was most struck by the stress level of Americans at different ages. The poll found particularly high rates of stress among young adults aged 15-29 (64 percent) and adults aged and 30-49 (65 percent), compared with those over 50 (44 percent).

Again, this is understandable. The youth culture–with its pressure to be popular, dating woes, school imperatives, etc.–is enormously stressful. Young people are also preoccupied about their future, which seems completely open-ended, whether it will turn out good or bad, and everything seems dependent on the choices they make now. This is an age-group that also inhabits social media–with its “likes,” “unfriending,” trolling, and platforms for outrage–that is also a very stressful environment.

Young people feel the pressure to be successful, and this only intensifies when they are 30-49, which show a small uptick in stress. At this stage of life, people are trying to be successful in their careers, even as they also face a new kind of stress when they start a family, with child-raising and juggling finances. Those who do find success in their careers often move into new levels of stress. To extend the words of Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility and with great responsibility comes great stress.

But then, once you start to enter old age, the stress level drops dramatically. You have reached the level that you are going to reach and become accustomed to your responsibilities. Then you retire. Yes, you may face hard challenges of health, finances, the death of love ones, and other kinds of suffering. But, remarkably, these do not necessarily give you stress.

But isn’t all of this true of just about everyone, especially, in the developed world? Why are Americans so much more stressed out than Europeans or their counterparts in, say, Canada?

There must be a cultural factor at work. Americans are highly individualistic. In other countries, including those with less freedom and a more rigorous class system, a person’s path is more laid out, pre-determined by family background and educational test scores. More communal societies offer more social support. Welfare states promise to take care of you no matter what. In the United States, though, “it’s on you.”

Perhaps another feature is that Americans today–unlike, perhaps, in the past–have lost the stoicism of past generations, so that our emotions are more on the surface. Instead of suppressing or controlling our negative emotions–as with the British “stiff upper lip”–we tend to indulge our emotions, which, naturally, can carry us away. We react emotionally to our problems and anxieties, so when we are up against obstacles or uncertainties, we get stressed out about them.

I’m just speculating. Why do you think Americans are more stressed that citizens of most other countries? And if you are among the 55%, why are you stressed?

Also, we have been assuming that stress is a bad thing. Despite its unpleasantness, can it be good, and a sign of national strength?

Image by Gerd Altmann from , License.

Levels of stress, anger and worry among Americans are at the highest levels in a decade, and Americans are among the most stressed people in the world, a new survey finds.

The annual Gallup poll was conducted last year and included more than 150,000 adults worldwide, 1,000 of them from the United States. All were asked about their negative or positive feelings on the day before being interviewed, The New York Times reported.

About 55% of U.S. respondents said they’d felt stress “a lot of the day” before, compared with just 35% worldwide. That puts the United States on par with Greece, which has led the stress rankings since 2012.

About 45% of Americans said they felt “a lot” of worry the day before the survey, compared with a global average of 39%. About 22% of Americans said they felt “a lot” of anger the day before, which was the same as the global average, The Times reported.

Being younger than 50, having a low income, and disapproving of President Trump’s job performance were all associated with negative emotions among Americans, according to the survey, released Thursday.

“What really stood out for the U.S. is the increase in the negative experiences,” Julie Ray, Gallup’s managing editor for world news, told The Times. “This was kind of a surprise to us when we saw the numbers head in this direction.”

There was some good news in the survey. About 64% of Americans said they had learned or had done something interesting the day before, compared with 49% globally.

Americans’ stress levels just hit a record high — and this group is suffering the most

America, the stressed, pissed and worried.

According to survey data released Thursday by Gallup, America ties for 4th out of 143 when it comes to the most stressed-out nations. Currently more than half of Americans (55%) say they experience stress during a large part of the day. These levels are the highest that Gallup has found since it began doing this survey.

Most stressed-out nations on earth

% experienced stress a lot during previous day
Greece 59%
Philippines 58%
Tanzania 57%
Albania 55%
Iran 55%
Sri Lanka 55%
United States 53%
Uganda 52%
Costa Rica 52%
Rwanda 52%
Turkey 52%
Venezuela 52%

And the news doesn’t get better from there: Levels of anger and worry are also at record or near-record highs. Nearly half of Americans (45%) said they felt worried a lot, and 22% said they felt anger a lot.

“The levels of negative emotions in the past several years are even higher than during the U.S. recession years,” the report reveals.

And though many of us are more stressed, worried and angry than in the past, certain groups have it particularly bad. Among them: Younger Americans. Indeed, those between the ages of 15 and 49 were the most stressed, worried and angry in the U.S.

% stressed % worried % angry
Age 15-29 64% 50% 32%
Age 30-49 65% 52% 25%
Age 50+ 44% 38% 16%

People’s income levels seem to impact their stress levels. Fewer than half of the richest 20% of Americans felt stressed or worried a lot, while significantly more than half of the poorest fifth felt stressed (68%) and worried (56%).

And political persuasion plays a role as well, as “those who disapprove of Trump’s job performance are significantly more likely to experience each of these negative emotions than those who do,” the report reveals.

Why does this all matter? The Gallup researchers highlight the ties between “negative affects like these and physical health and longevity.”

Indeed, long-term stress can exacerbate or create a host of issues. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, long-term stress may “suppress immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally.” It can also cause headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger or irritability, and those who are under chronic stress “are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold.”

So what can you do if you feel a lot of anger stress or worry? To cope with stress, the CDC recommends eating healthy, getting a good night’s sleep, exercising regularly and trying to ensure that you take breaks from what is stressing you out. “Psychology Today” offers this guide to help with chronic worrying; and the Mayo Clinic these tips for chronic anger issues.

Catey Hill

Catey Hill is MarketWatch’s senior content strategist. She writes about how to upgrade your life, and helps readers find great deals on products and services. Follow her on Twitter @CateyHill.

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Although the 2020 presidential election is a year away, more than half of Americans say it as a “significant stressor” in their lives, according to the annual “Stress in America” survey from the American Psychological Association (APA).

In fact, the current political climate is one of the most commonly cited sources of stress in the survey, along with mass shootings and health care.

“While overall stress levels have not changed significantly over the past few years, the proportion of Americans who say they are experiencing stress about specific issues has risen over the past year,” the APA’s report on the survey notes.

In this year’s survey, more than seven in 10 Americans (71 percent) said mass shootings are a significant source of stress, up from 62 percent in 2018. An almost equal proportion — 69 percent — pointed to health care (mostly the cost of it) as a significant stressor, while 62 percent cited the current political climate, including 56 percent who specifically mentioned the 2020 presidential election.

Political affiliation influenced the responses regarding the current political climate. While almost three-quarters (71 percent) of Democrats said the upcoming election is a significant source of stress for them, less than half of Republicans (48 percent) indicated the same.

The survey, which was released earlier this week, polled a representative sample of 3,617 American adults between August 1st and September 3rd, 2019 — well before the House of Representatives began its impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine.

Leading stressors

Here are some other findings from the survey:

Mass shootings: A majority of all racial and ethnic groups said mass shootings are a significant source of stress in their lives, but it was mentioned the most by Hispanics (84 percent) and blacks (79 percent), followed by Asian Americans (77 percent), Native Americans (71 percent) and whites (66 percent).

Health care: Among the 69 percent of people who said they felt significantly stressed about health care, 64 percent pointed to the cost of that care as the cause of their stress. Interestingly, people with private insurance were more likely to say this than those with public insurance.

American Psychological AssociationYounger adults expressed greater concern (and greater stress) than older ones about their ability to access and afford health care services in the future. For example, more than six in 10 (65 percent) of Gen Zers said they were worried about this issue, compared to 45 percent of baby boomers.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) adults were significantly more concerned, too. Seventy-one percent said worrying about their future health care needs caused them significant stress versus 54 percent of non-LGBT individuals.

Safety and security: More than three in five Americans (64 percent) said worries about violence and crime caused them significant stress in 2019, up from 51 percent two years earlier. A similar proportion (60 percent) reported that acts of terrorism are a source of stress, up from 47 percent in 2017.

Sexual harassment is also a significant stressor for many Americans — 45 percent cited it in 2019, up from 39 percent last year.

Climate change: The proportion of Americans who say climate change is a significant source of stress rose to 56 percent in 2019, up from 51 percent a year earlier. This issue is a bigger stressor for Hispanics (70 percent), Asian Americans (62 percent) and blacks (61 percent) than for whites (50 percent).

Abortion laws: Changing abortion laws were cited as a source of significant stress by 44 percent of the adults surveyed. Americans who live below the poverty level are more likely to point to changes in these laws as being stressful than those above the poverty level (50 percent versus 41 percent).

Immigration: Almost half of adults (48 percent) listed immigration as a significant source of stress in their lives. The proportion was higher for Hispanics (66 percent) than for Asian-Americans (52 percent), Native Americans (58 percent), blacks (46 percent) or whites (43 percent).

Interestingly, 58 percent of the people surveyed said they wished there were more they could do for immigrants.

American Psychological AssociationDiscrimination: One-quarter (25 percent) of American adults say discrimination is a source of significant stress in their lives, up from 20 percent in 2015 and 2016. The survey also found that a large majority of people of color (63 percent) say discrimination has kept them from having a full and productive life. A similar proportion of LGBT adults (64 percent) say the same.

“When looking at the responses of people of color, this year’s results represent a significant increase from 2015, the last time this set of questions was asked, when less than half (49%) said that discrimination prevented them from having a full and productive life,” the survey report notes.

The country’s future

More than half of the adults surveyed this year said they believe the United States is at the lowest point in its history that they can remember.

But they apparently don’t believe that things will remain dire. More than three-quarters of the survey’s respondents also said they feel hopeful about the future.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in our world right now — from mass shootings to climate change. This year’s survey shows us that more Americans are saying these issues are causing them stress,” says Arthur C. Evans Jr., APA’s chief executive officer, in a released statement.

“While are important societal issues that need to be addressed, the results also reinforce the need to have more open conversations about the impact of stress and stress management, especially with groups that are experiencing high levels of stress,” he adds.

FMI: You can read the entire report on this year’s “Stress in America” survey on the APA’s website.

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