Everyone deals with a little stress from time to time. But it turns out where you live can influence your stress levels — for better or for worse.
According to a new study by personal finance website WalletHub, although stress had been on the decline in the U.S. in 2016 — actually dipping to a decade-long low — stress is now on the upsurge again in 2017. WalletHub says:
During the 10-year period when stress was declining, Americans commonly identified “money, work and the economy” as their biggest sources of worry. Today, however, Americans also report increased anxiety over the election outcome, current political climate, uncertainty of our nation’s future and fear of violence.
WalletHub analyzed myriad factors — including average hours worked weekly, median income, health, divorce rate and cost of child care — to see where stress is most pervasive in America. These are the 10 most stressed-states in the U.S.:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
These are America’s least-stressed states:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- New Hampshire
Stress can rob you of your time, energy, health and creativity. But you can take proactive steps to bring some relaxation into your life. For example, the next time you feel yourself starting to lose your cool or getting overwhelmed by stress, concentrate on your breathing.
As Kim Hoey explains in “5 Simple and Frugal Ways to Calm Your Stress,” mindful breathing – like the following”4-7-8 breathing” exercise — is an effective tool in combatting stress.
When using this technique, place your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and hold it there throughout.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing noise. Close your mouth and count to four while inhaling through the nose.
Hold that breath for seven counts. Then, let the breath go out through the mouth for a count of eight. Repeat the cycle three more times.
For more tips on reducing stress, check out her story. Also, read “Why 90 Percent of American Workers Are So Stressed Out.”
How does your state rank? Share below or on Facebook.