Stress in America 2022 Insights
There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a mental health crisis. To better understand the impact of the past two years on individual stress, the American Psychological Association partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct a survey their annual Stress in America ™ survey. This survey, conducted in February and March of this year, had alarming results. As part of Stress Awareness Month, we wanted to share these important findings:
- 87%of respondents agreed it feels like there has been a constant stream of crises over the last two years.
- 73%of respondents said they are overwhelmed by the number of crises facing the world right now.
- 63%of respondents said their life has been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The rise in prices of everyday items due to inflation was rated as a stressor by the highest proportion of adults seen across all stressors asked about in the history of the Stress in America ™ survey, with 87%having reported it as a significant source of stress.
- 42%of respondents said that they have relied on a lot of unhealthy habits to get themselves through the last two years.
Stress Management Techniques
In addition to navigating though an unpredictable state of prolonged hyper-vigilance that the pandemic has created, individuals are now dealing with growing financial strain and the fear of the new geopolitical threat that has emerged. The survey findings make clear that U.S. adults appear to be emotionally overwhelmed and showing signs of fatigue and chronic stress. Chronic stress can have a severely negative impacts on overall health, including a weaken immune system, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure and even heart disease. That is why it is critical to start incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine.
- Exercise: Physical activityis one of the best ways to help you manage stress. Not only does it instantly improve your mood due to the release of hormones like endorphins and endocannabinoids, but it also helps improve your quality of sleep at night and improves your immune system. Both of which set your body up to handle stress more adequately.
- Nutrition: Stress eating highly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat may provide temporarily relief, however they cause long term damage to both your physical and mental health. Focusing on eating nutritious foods and consuming a balanced diet not only keeps your body healthy, but it helps regulate your mood and manage stress levels.
- Meditation: Meditating brings short-term stress relief as well as lasting stress management benefits. There are many different forms of meditation to try, each one is unique and brings its own appeal. Check out one of our past blog post to learn more!
- Gratitude: Studies show that grateful people enjoy better mental health, lower stress, and a better quality of life. Gratitude practices, such as journaling, are a great-long term strategy for managing stress. Practicing gratitude regularly also reminds you of all of the resources you have to cope with stress, which is very empowering.
- Positive Self-Talk: Training your inner voice to speak positively can help you develop a healthier outlook and help you manage your emotions and take positive action. Start paying attention to your self-talk and when you notice you are giving yourself harsh self-criticism or having self-doubt, redirect your thoughts in a more realistic and compassionate way.
If you are an employer looking to help your employees manage their stress levels, click here to view our Mental Health and Well-Being Offerings!