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article imageWhich are the most and least stressed U.S. states?

By Tim Sandle     Apr 6, 2019 in Health
With April being Stress Awareness Month and millennials reporting the highest average stress levels of any generation, a new study reveals the most and least stressed areas of the U.S.
Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992 in the U.S. The month provides an opportunity for health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country to work to increase public awareness about the causes and preventive actions for what appears to be growing stress levels throughout society.
To mark the month, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released a report examining 2019's Most & Least Stressed States. The report ranks each state based on different metrics. In all, 50 states were compared across 40 key indicators of stress. Factors assessed included average hours worked per week to personal bankruptcy rate; and things like the share of adults getting adequate sleep.
The video below provides more information about how the survey was put together:
The survey rankings show some interesting patterns. In terms of outcomes, the most stressed states were found to be:
West Virginia
New Mexico
In contrast, the least stressed states were:
New Hampshire
South Dakota
North Dakota
Among the rankings there were some interesting variances. For example, Hawaii was found to the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.4 percent. This stands at 2.8 times lower than in Alaska, which is the highest at 6.6 percent. In terms of relative poverty, New Hampshire has the lowest share of the population living in poverty at 8.1 percent. This stands at 2.7 times lower than in Mississippi, which has by far the highest levels of poverty at 22 percent.
In terms of relationship breakdown, Utah has the lowest separation and divorce rate, around 16 percent; whereas Nevada has the highest level at 26 percent. Another measure is with adult health. Here Minnesota has the lowest share of adults in poor health at 12 percent. This sits two times lower than in Mississippi, which has the the highest rates of poor adult health at 24 percent.
Reviewing the study, Dr. Brian Luke Seaward has outlined some ways that stress can be reduced. He recommends: "My approach to stress is a mind-body-spirit “holistic” approach. The bio-medical model: Simply trying to reduce the symptoms of stress has proven to be quite ineffective. There is a whole issue here you didn't ask about: Purpose of life."
He adds that people need to "address both the causes (ego-based perceived threats) and physical symptoms of stress." For this "there are many coping and relaxation techniques that prove quite effective in combatting stress that don't cost anything."
More about Stress, Anxiety, Mental health, USA
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