New Study Shows Which States Are The Most Stressed Out
Ugh, don't you just get an uncomfortable knot in your stomach when you read that word?
It affects all of us, but unfortunately, some of us are more afflicted by it than others.
A new study published by WalletHub has categorized each of the 50 states according to their respective levels of stress.
First of all, it's important to note stress levels actually reached their lowest point in a decade in 2016.
But, now that we're fully in the thick of 2017, we're back on an upswing.
According to this study, the catalysts for our stress have changed pretty drastically.
During the 10 years in which stress levels were declining, most Americans said "money, work and the economy" were huge sources for their worries.
Today, increased anxiety appears to trace back to the election outcome, "America's current political climate, uncertainty of our nation's future and fear of violence."
I can't say I'm necessarily surprised by any of that, but it's still a pretty huge bummer.
Now, as far as the breakdown of stress by each state in the US goes, the researchers in this study looked at several different factors, including hours worked per week, hours of sleep per night, job security, credit scores, housing costs, divorce rates and crime per capita, among others.
After crunching the numbers, the study found the top five most stressed states are Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky.
At the bottom of the list are Utah, South Dakota, Iowa, North Dakota and Minnesota.
There's some pretty obvious regional differences going on here. Apparently, people in the Midwest aren't nearly as high-strung as their neighbors in the South.
Try not to fret too much if you happen to fall into one of the more stressed states in the country.
WalletHub spoke with a bunch of experts on ways to combat and manage high stress levels.
Mary Blair-Loy, a professor in the department of sociology at the University of California, San Diego, recommends regular exercise, remembering to plan ahead and avoiding over-scheduling as major keys to dial down on anxiety.
To fight stress without spending money, Anthony R. Wheeler, the associate dean and professor of human resources management in the College of Business at Bryant University, says it can be quite simple:
There's a whole group of activities that researchers call "positive recovery experiences" that help people recover from stress. Basically, it's 'Find something you like and do it.' If you enjoy reading books, give yourself 30 minutes a day to read a book. If you like exercising, schedule 30 minutes a day to do something active. If you like listening to music, treat yourself to your favorite playlist of music.
While some of the stats from this study might be getting you down, just remember stress, while generally inevitable at times, is totally manageable.
You've got this, guys.