Americans most stressed they've been in 10 years

Ellen Mills
February 17, 2017

Americans are about as stressed as they've ever been.

More than half of Americans - 57 percent - say that the current political climate is a "very" or "somewhat" significant source of stress in their lives, according to a new survey released by the American Psychological Association.

Furthermore, around 66 percent of US adults are stressed about the country's future, 57 percent about the political climate, and other 49 percent about the outcome of this presidential election. And according to the APA, American stress levels have shown a steady decline over the entire 10-year span.

Between August 2016 and January 2017, the overall average stress levels of Americans rose from 4.8 to 5.1, on a scale where 1 means little to no stress and 10 means a great deal of stress.

While barely more than 40 percent of whites said they were significantly stressed out by the Trump victory, almost 70 percent of blacks reported high stress levels caused by the election results. Now that people are citing politics as a serious stressor in their lives, APA researchers included in their survey questions relating to the country's officials.

"The stress we're seeing around political issues is deeply concerning, because it's hard for Americans to get away from it", said Katherine C. Nordal, APA's executive director for professional practice.

The APA, which represents psychologists across the country, heard from its members that their patients were experiencing higher levels of anxiety in the lead-up to the presidential election.

"The fact that two-thirds of Americans are saying the future of the nation is causing them stress, it is a startling number", Wright told the Post. Among white respondents, 42% reported stress from the election results.

Young Americans continue to report higher stress levels than older generations, and Americans with lower incomes report more stress than those with higher incomes. Rural Americans were the most serene about Trump's victory, with only 33 percent feeling stress about the election result.

"It's not just about who won the election".

"Read enough to stay informed but then plan activities that give you a regular break from the issues and the stress they might cause", she said. Most people didn't need that information at 11 p.m.; nothing would have changed if they'd waited until morning to hear that news.

Chronic stress can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, depression, and cancer. "But the reality is burnout isn't going to help anybody".

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