How Severe Is Stress in America?

Battistero at Stresshacker.comAccording to the latest APA (American Psychological Association) survey, nearly half (42 percent) of Americans are reporting that their stress has increased, as compared to the previous year’s survey. Half of Americans say that they are increasingly stressed about their ability to provide for their family’s basic needs. Eight out of 10 say that the economy is a significant cause of stress. Women are most likely to report stress related to the current economic climate.

Frequent Symptoms

More than half of all adults report that they lay awake at night because of stress. More people report fatigue (53 percent), feelings of irritability or anger (60 percent) and lying awake at night (52 percent) as a result of stress, in addition to other symptoms including lack of interest or motivation, feeling depressed or sad, headaches and muscular tension. Other reported symptoms include changes in appetite, stomach aches, intestinal problems, nervousness, and excessive worry.

The Doctor Knows

Two-thirds (66 percent) of adults living in the U.S. have been told by a health care provider that they have one or more chronic conditions, most commonly high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The vast majority of adults indicated that a health care provider recommended lifestyle and behavior changes (70 percent).

Treatment … of Sorts

Almost one-fifth of Americans report drinking alcohol to manage their stress (18 percent), and 16 percent report smoking. Many people rely on sedentary activities to manage their stress. Forty-three percent say they eat too much or eat unhealthy foods because of stress. A third (33 percent) cited their own lack of willpower as the reason they were unsuccessful, in addition to not having enough time (20 percent) and lack of confidence (14 percent). 14 percent of adults report they are too stressed to make any changes at all.

What is Your Biggest Stressor?

What worries you the most right now? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. Check out Stresshacker’s StressWise program for tips and coaching, online webinars, and downloads for making sense of stress.