The Top 7 Causes Of Stress In America Today

We all know stress wreaks havoc on the body, from weakening the immune system, to raising blood pressure to causing headaches, and even speeding up the aging process. And yet … try as we might to keep it at bay, it seems stress is all around us. But what, exactly, is stressing us out the most?

Well, according to polling conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health earlier this year on 2,500 Americans, there are some major trends in what's causing stress among Americans today.

Difficult parenting situations (including being the parent of a teenager), living in poverty, and poor working conditions all contribute to daily stress. But those reporting the highest levels of stress were all facing health issues. According to the survey, having a chronic illness is about as stressful as having an income of under $20,000.

Here are the top seven groups who were most likely to experience high stress levels in the past month:

1. Those with poor health conditions: 60% reported experiencing high stress levels in the past month.

2. Those who are disabled: 45% reported experiencing high stress levels in the past month.

3. Those with a chronic illness: 36% reported experiencing high stress levels in the past month.

4. Those with an income of less than $20,000: 36% reported experiencing high stress levels in the past month.

5. Those experiencing dangerous working situations: 36% reported experiencing high stress levels in the past month.

6. Single parents: 35% reported experiencing high stress levels in the past month.

7. Parents of a teenager: 35% reported experiencing high stress levels in the past month.

And when asked about what caused any major, stressful events experienced in the past year, the top response was illness or disease, followed by death of a loved one.

The poll also showed that those in poor health feel the effects of other stressors more deeply. 69% of those in poor health reported feeling stressed by financial problems, compared to 53% of overall respondents. And 63% of those in poor health reported feeling burdened with too many responsibilities overall.

Just one more reason to take your health seriously and make time for healthy cooking and fitness! It may feel stressful now but could save you loads of serious stress down the road!

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