The American Psychological Association does an annual survey of a broad range of Americans to get their current perspective on the stresses of living in American. They’ve been doing this survey for over a decade!! Historically, money and work have been the top concerns. But this year, concerns about the future of our Nation have sprung ahead as a major stressor (State of the Nation stress 63%; Money 62%; Work 61%). Additionally, while people report the same level of overall stress, they are reporting more overt symptoms to go along with their stress, to include anxiety, anger, and fatigue.
Interestingly, people find news as a source of stress, yet they remain very plugged in to the news. 95% of Americans stated they follow the news regularly and 82% said they check the news daily. Even 10% reported checking in with updates in the news every hour! While people want to stay informed, doing so is increasing their health and causing more problems! 72% of Americans agreed that the media blows things out of proportion.
So what to do about this all? One simple step you can take to decrease your level of stress, thereby decreasing your headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, and irritable mood is to turn off the TV, put down the newspaper, and stop checking CNN, Fox News or FB for the latest information. Do you realize that the news will be the same regardless of your “involvement”? And do you realize that the VAST majority of the time, you cannot change anything in your life to make the news impact you any differently? Stay involved enough just to get the real answers but then disengage and do something else, more productive, more enjoyable. Leave the chronic news to those whose job it is.
For view the entire report, click on this link – APA stress in american 2017 study.
- Dr. Sheri Fluellen, PhD – Wyoming’s Public Education Campaign Coordinator for the American Psychological Association