You probably didn’t need a study to tell you what you’ve no doubt experienced for yourself—there is more stress in people’s lives today than 25 years ago.
But, nonetheless the work of Sheldon Cohen, the leading researcher and expert on stress and how it affects our health, provides scientific proof of our pressure cooker existence.
Cohen has been conducting periodic surveys using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to measure stress levels in thousands of Americans since 1983. In 35 years of study, his research revealed:
- Those with higher stress were women, people with lower incomes and those with less education.
- As people age, stress decreases.
- Almost every demographic category surveyed from 1983 to 2009 experienced an increase in stress ranging from 10% to 30%.
- The recent economic downturn hit middle-aged men with college degrees and full-time jobs the hardest-- almost double that of any other demographic group.
The Health Toll
It’s also no surprise that stress contributes to poorer health habits, increased risk for disease and accelerated disease progression and increased mortality.
But many of us are at a loss on what to do about it.
We’ve offered some practical tips in previous posts that you may find helpful:
Unfortunately, the very things that help us deal with stress are often the first to go—like regular exercise and eating right. If nothing else, try to keep these two positive aspects of your life in place.
And for a little added insurance during times of stress or fatigue--taking a B6 + B-Complex supplement can help maintain energy levels and mental focus.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology