The 1 Thing Stressing Americans Out the Most May Surprise You

Stress in America seems to keep rising. The nation’s current political climate certainly hasn’t helped — but that’s not even the biggest stressor across the nation.

These are the top five factors causing Americans the most stress — and what you can do to keep yourself healthy despite the anxiety. Just wait until you see what came in at No. 1.

5. Violence and crime

handgun from the scene of Ferguson

Violence is on some American’s minds non-stop. | St. Louis County Police Department/Getty Images.

Crime is stressful, whether you’re close to it or not. Violent crime rates have gone up over the past few years, says an article in The New York Times¬†— as have Americans’ levels of stress on behalf of it. Experts aren’t sure why this is happening, or the best way to go about preventing further increases in homicides and other violent crimes.

4. Politics

Trump in a dark suit and a red tie gives the thumbs up

The political climate is looking rather grim in America. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Take at least a little comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one feeling stressed about the U.S. political scene. According to the American Psychological Association, the 2016 election significantly increased Americans’ stress levels. We continue to experience stress as a result of the ever-changing political climate. Thankfully, there are ways to manage political stress.

3. Job stress

Dispute between young boss and young employee

A stressful job can leave you with anxiety issues. | iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Workplace stress disrupts the lives of the majority of Americans year after year, according to the American Institute of Stress. If your job is too stressful, you might start to experience frequent headaches, digestive issues, and hair loss. For your health’s sake, if you can, you should consider taking steps to reducing stress at your current job or searching for less stressful employment.

2. Financial troubles

Sad man looking at his wallet

Money issues are a common problem among Americans. | SIphotography/iStock/Gety Images

Money has topped multiple¬†national stress surveys in recent years, and that’s not good for anyone’s health. If you’re struggling to manage your finances, setting goals and saving as much as possible will help you prepare for any unexpected (and costly) life events. You can also meet with a financial therapist, someone trained to help you reach financial wellness.

1. The future of America

Smiling people waving American flags and looking up in crowd

It’s hard for people to be certain about the future of America. | Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Uncertainty about the future of the nation is the top stressor among its citizens, according to a survey from the American Psychological Association. Health care and the economy were among the specific nationally relevant topics that stressed surveyed Americans the most. Trust in the government and hate crimes followed close behind.

How does stress affect your health?

Doctor's Hand Checking Blood Pressure

High stress increases your likelihood of developing multiple diseases. | iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Regardless of the source, undergoing too much stress puts you at risk for a life of poor health. According to Healthline, chronic stress can weaken your immune system, make you depressed, and raise your blood sugar and pressure. The more stress you’re under, the higher your risk for having a heart attack. High stress increases the likelihood you’ll develop diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Best ways to manage daily stress

Woman getting out of bed

Start your day off productively, not stressfully. | MangoStar_Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus

If you’re feeling stressed, there’s plenty you can do to get yourself into a better state of mental and physical health. Spending time outdoors, with friends and loved ones, and getting some exercise can help improve your mood. Also make sure you are getting enough sleep, and cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink if that makes you feel anxious.

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