It's Not Just You—Americans As a Whole Are More Stressed Than Ever
Between keeping up a social life, managing your Classpass schedule, and gearing up for that big promotion at the office, it can sometimes feel like stressed with a capital "S" is your default state. And no matter how much of an ace you are at juggling, the stress only feels like it is getting stronger. That's because, according to a new study conducted by the American Psychological Association, it is. (Find out How to Decipher Between Stress, Depression, and Burnout.)
The APA surveyed almost 3,500 adults-which it has done every year since 2007-about their overall stress levels and the specific sources of their stress. The most recent results prove that we're more stressed out than ever.
Participants are asked to rate their stress on a 10-point scale-one being totally zen and 10 being ready to rip your hair out. Between 2014 and 2015, the average stress level rose from 4.1 to 5.1, meaning that we've now officially gone from mostly cool, calm ,and collected to mostly stressed the F out.
The biggest jump happened at the end of the spectrum-the number of adults who reported feeling under "extreme stress" jumped from 18 percent to 24 percent.
And the biggest sources of stress turned out to be pretty unsurprising: Discrimination, work, and money are among the things giving us the most gray hairs. (Even How You Deal with Email Is Causing You Extra Stress.)
Interestingly, these three sources of stress are all linked, suggesting that our work situation and how valued we feel may have the biggest impact on our overall health. Stress has been linked to a whole slew of health problems, ranging from weight gain to depression. And spending upwards of 40 hours a week in a stressful or sub-par situation is not doing us any favors (see the other ways Your Office Is Harming Your Health).
In light of the stressful findings, treat yourself to a yoga class or 10-minute meditation session at lunch. Then once you've found a little zen, assess your overall work environment and just how much it might be impacting your health. (Just in case... Your Guilt-Free Guide to Taking a Mental Health Day.)