Are you tired, stressed, achey and can’t find enough hours in the day to do the things you enjoy? Join most Americans, as we report increased stress and chronic struggle to enjoy daily life.
Stress reduction is starting to become the new hot topic with good reason. Many Americans feel overwhelmed by work, earnings, family commitments and logistics, overburdened schedules and exhaustion. Trying to prioritize becomes challenging, and health, food and relaxing activities have moved to the bottom of the list. Interestingly enough but not quite surprising, the activities that help reduce stress are, in fact, the bottom of our list. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of research that tells us how to reduce our stress, what we need to do more of and less of, but the interested parties, the American people suffering every day, are seemingly reluctant to behavior changes.
Well, who likes change – no human ever – but we all understand that we must. Humans also like to be social (that’s just the stress “not talking”) and belonging to groups. We like to enjoy simple pleasure and the things that make us truly happy are loved ones. Our insecurities have gotten the best of us, and exploited by advertising and marketing, we have allowed an environment of severe, anxiety provoking competition in just about everything: academics, sports (especially youth sports), earnings, fitness, weight, appearance (even how white our teeth are) hours worked, hours not slept, material possessions and a host of others. While this is truly not new to humans, the addition of the information/electronic revolution has exponentially raised the stakes, raised our alertness (chronically) and raised our stress while simultaneously reducing the activities that reduce stress – leisure time, sleep, family and social gatherings, good nutrition and attention to self care. But wait, good things come from stress. While true, stress can have positive results, chronic stress without a reset can be very unhealthy.
*NO TIME TO READ MORE? Jump to the bulleted suggestions below to learn how to decrease stress.
Some statistics to prove you are not alone in your stress…
2014 Stress Statistics
Source: American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress, NY
Research Date: 7.8.2014
Top Causes of Stress in the U.S.
1 Job Pressure – Co-Worker Tension, Bosses, Work Overload
2 Money – Loss of Job, Reduced Retirement, Medical Expenses
3 Health – Health Crisis, Terminal or Chronic Illness
4 Relationships – Divorce, Death of Spouse, Arguments with Friends, Loneliness
5 Poor Nutrition – Inadequate Nutrition, Caffeine, Processed Foods, Refined Sugars
6 Media Overload – Television, Radio, Internet, E-Mail, Social Networking
7 Sleep Deprivation – Inability to release adrenaline and other stress hormones
U.S Stress Statistics Data
Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress 77 %
Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress 73 %
Feel they are living with extreme stress 33 %
Feel their stress has increased over the past five years 48 %
Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress 76 %
Reported lying awake at night due to stress 48 %
Stress Impact Statistics
Percent who say stress has a negative impact on their personal & professional life 48 %
Employed adults who say they have difficulty managing work and family responsibilities. 31 %
Percent who cited jobs interfering with their family or personal time as a significant source of stress.
Percent who said stress has caused them to fight with people close to them
Reported being alienated from a friend or family member because of stress
Annual costs to employers in stress related health care and missed work. $300 Billion
Percent who say they are “always” or “often” under stress at work 30 %
People who cited physical symptoms experienced the following
Fatigue 51 %
Headache 44 %
Upset stomach 34 %
Muscle tension 30 %
Change in appetite 23 %
Teeth grinding 17 %
Change in sex drive 15 %
Feeling dizzy 13%
People who cited psychological symptoms experienced the following
Irritability or anger 50 %
Feeling nervous 45 %
Lack of energy 45 %
Feeling as though you could cry 35 %
End of Statistics
DECREASE STRESS IN A FEW MINUTES
*The solution to decreasing your stress level has nothing to do with figuring out how and everything to do with just doing it. No time? Here are a few ideas that take only a few minutes and maybe the more you do these behaviors, the more spare time you’ll find!
- breathing exercises – close your eyes and count out 5 breaths
- stretching – roll your shoulders and squeeze your shoulder blades
- meditating – minutes are equivalent to sleep
- eating less sugar – processed foods and sugars cause a host of disruptions in your body. Choose unprocessed foods.
Invest a few minutes every day in yourself and feel unbelievably better!
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