Unplug & Recharge//

New Poll Says Americans are More Stressed Than Ever

What’s really causing rising stress levels across the U.S.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

American’s stress levels are the highest they’ve been in 10 years, according to a poll released Wednesday by the American Psychological Association.

Our hyper-divided political atmosphere is at least partly to blame. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the current political climate is a “very or somewhat significant” source of stress. The effect reached across party lines: A majority of both Republicans (59 percent) and Democrats (76 percent) reported that the future of our nation was a significant source of worry.

The survey also highlights how fast our national stress levels are rising. A poll taken in August 2016 ranked our stress levels at a 4.8 (on a 1-to-10 scale where 1 means little to no stress, and 10 means a whole lot of stress) while a January 2017 poll put this number at a 5.1 on the same scale. That may seem like a small jump but it’s the first “significant increase” in the decade since the APA began the Stress in America™ polling.

In addition to politics, more people reported acts of terrorism, police violence towards minorities and personal safety as sources of stress. It’s true that no one totally stress-free, but it disproportionately impacts groups who have been more vocally discriminated against in recent months, such as Muslim Americans, immigrants and victims of sexual trauma, as the Washington Post reported.

One way to manage your politically-related stress levels is to be smart about media consumption. The Washington Post cites the example of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation late Monday night, with Valie Wright, a licensed psychologist and member of APA’s Stress in America team, noting that “nothing would have changed if they’d waited until morning to hear that news.” Such updates only get us “riled up again when you should be prioritizing going to sleep, winding down, and prepared for the next day,” Wright told the Washington Post.

One suggestion? Limit your exposure to screen time at night — or even better, keep your phone out of the bedroom.

Read more about the APA’s findings here.

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Purpose//

Generation Z is the Most Stressed About Issues in the News Yet the Least Likely to Vote

by Business Insider
Photo credit: Mwaniki Wil/Getty Images
Thrive News//

The Addiction Crisis That No One Is Talking About

by Stephanie Fairyington
Well-Being//

Here’s What Political Stress in America Looks Like a Year After the Election

by Shelby Lorman

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.