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Why Americans Are So Stressed Out

By Sara Butler

Why Americans are So Stressed

People often think back to times when things seemed simpler. Mayberry comes to mind with its simple problems, sage sheriff, and lack of 24-hour news coverage. Research has found that you don’t even need to go back to Mayberry in order to find less stressful times -- going back to the 1990s is all that you need!

It wasn’t the grunge rock or the Seattle coffee that made things less stressful back then, but the changes since -- in relationship dynamics, economics, and technology -- that seem to make all the difference.

Americans are more stressed today than ever, but before you whip out your hacky sacks, Nirvana records, and old flannels, consider a few of these strategies to help you deal with the ongoing stresses of life in today’s world.

What is Stressing Us Out?

According to the American Psychological Association’s annual report, the biggest things stressing people out today are politics and healthcare. These issues take a psychological toll on many, leading to emotional and physical symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, and anxiety.

You may not be able to change the 24-hour news cycle that constantly hammers you with news about politics and the state of the world today, but there are tangible things you can do every day to help deal with the stress of politics or the worry about wildfires, climate change, pandemics, or the economy.

How to Manage Stress

The American Psychological Association’s report found that middle-aged folks between 45 and 65 were the most impacted by stress today. Luckily, there are things experts know you can do to help lower stress levels to make life feel a little more tolerable.

You should:

  • Eat well - Nutrition has a huge impact on your overall health and your stress levels. When you supply your body with the nutrients it needs each day, then it can work optimally. Eating highly processed foods and fast food will only place more stress on the body and make coping with daily stressors much more difficult.
  • Exercise - If you’re feeling stressed, then tie on your sneakers and pound the pavement. Taking a walk, going for a job, getting on your bike, or simply dancing around your house can help you to deal with the physical and emotional toll stress takes on the body.
  • Go to therapy - If you feel as if you’re having a hard time coping with stress, then good, old-fashioned talk therapy -- when coupled with other at-home strategies -- may be what you need
  • Seek chiropractic care - Studies have shown that regular chiropractic care can be effective, particularly in dealing with the uncomfortable physical symptoms that chronic stress can bring about. Plus, regular hands-on chiropractic adjustments can help your central nervous system to work optimally, helping to lessen the body’s fight or flight stress response.

The Bottom Line

If you’re feeling stressed and wishing you could return to less complicated times, then watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show to your heart’s content, but make sure you’re taking an active role in reducing daily stress, too. It’s OK to turn off the news and unplug from social media. It’s OK to call your friends and not talk about the state of the world. It’s even OK to dream about your next Disney World vacation. Couple those things with eating better and other stress-reduction strategies and you can enjoy the thought of Mayberry instead of wishing you could time travel back in time to be there.

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