Plus A Look At Other Leading Causes Of Stress
The main cause of stress among Americans today is economic anxiety. This is according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2008 study. Each year, the APA commissions a countrywide survey to monitor the state of stress and its impact on the nation.
According to the 2008 report, nearly half the Americans surveyed feel their stress levels have increased in the last year, with 30% of respondents now rating their stress levels as extreme.
Is The Economy To Blame For Money Being The Main Cause Of Stress?
Almost half of the Americans surveyed said they are increasingly stressed about their ability to provide for their family’s basic needs given the current financial climate. Women in particular are more likely to feel increased stress due to the economy, with 83% of saying they are stressed about money, versus 78% of men.
Many are so worried by the economy that there has been an increase in the number of people seeking psychotherapy. Financial stress is the most common emotional issue cited as the reason for seeking help.
Other Leading Causes Of Stress
After money and the economy which people list as their main cause of stress, other leading causes of stress include work, family health problems and family responsibilities are the biggest sources of stress in the declining state of the economy. While work is an equal source of stress for men (67%) and women (68%), women feel significantly more stressed than men when it comes to family health problems (70% versus 63%) and slight more stressed regarding family responsibilities (66% versus 63%).
Advice For Dealing With Stress
There are specific steps you can take to manage any anxiety you are experiencing. In the case of financial concerns, now the nation’s main cause of stress, here are some excellent financial stress tips:
- Write a plan and follow it. When negative thoughts are left to fester, they can overtake your mind and lead you to feel even worse. If you’re worried about money, write down a specific plan for how your family can reduce expenses. Once you have it all on paper, your anxiety will dissipate and you’ll feel empowered to take charge of your situation.
- Be realistic. Remember that recessions come and go. They don’t last forever and they’re often not as bad as the media makes us feel they are.
- Adopt healthier habits. If you usually stress when you think about the state of the economy, why not commit to pursuing a different coping mechanism? Realize that stress is a natural response but when it paralyzes you it’s unproductive and could even damage your health. Instead of feeling extreme stress, why not commit to meditation or exercise to keep you more balanced?
Dealing With Family Stress
While family stress isn’t the main cause of stress among Americans, if you live in a stressful family situation, your quality of life can be seriously depleted. Here are three suggestions for dealing with family stress. If you incorporate these, the stress in your household should be manageable for everyone.
- Manage crises and conflict positively. Everybody has their own unique way of seeing situations. When there’s a disagreement in your home, take the time to understand the other party’s perspective. And compromise on the solution so both of you feel you have gained from the experience.
- Nurture relationships. Hard times are often caused by misunderstandings. Everyone falls in to the trap of thinking they know what the other person is thinking. And if you don’t take the time to communicate, those thoughts become the truth in our minds and guide our actions. By nurturing open and honest communications, you will have a better idea of where you stand in each others lives which helps to reduce conflict and misunderstandings.
- Accept (and honor) individual differences. We all have our own points of view on the way things should be done and how a person should live their lives. If someone in your family has a different perspective, it’s important to practice acceptance. And even beyond acceptance, it’s important to honor individual differences. This fosters self confidence and openness in the other person when you treat them this way.
Tips For Work Stress Relief
Work mightn’t be the main cause of stress among Americans, but it’s certainly high on the list. Use these tips to more peacefully navigate your work environment.
- Be organized. When you have a clear idea of what your daily expectations are, it’s much easier to remain calm and relaxed. Writing a list of everything you need to do each day, helps you more efficiently manage your time and enables you to monitor your progress throughout the day rather than discovering at 4:30 p.m. that you still have three hours of work left to do.
- Stay in communication. Most workplaces are a team effort. If you report into someone or have people reporting into you, make an effort to communicate. When you know others expectations of you and they know yours, things have a better chance of running more smoothly.
- Avoid office negativity. Stress is a function of our own minds. What causes one person to feel high anxiety won’t even make it on another person’s radar. When you engage in negativity in the office, it’s usually based on gossiping or complaining about other people. These are never constructive ways of dealing with issues at work. Instead of indulging in all that’s wrong with people who can’t help the situation, discuss your issue constructively, with someone who can action change.