Feeling Stressed? You’re Not Alone

By: Jenna Savage

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Everyone experiences stress from time to time, especially before something important, like a meeting or an exam. But for some people, stress is a constant that extends beyond the occasional event. According to a recent U.S. News & World Report, it seems as though the stress levels for young adults between 18 and 33 are higher than any other generation — and those levels are increasing.

The American Psychological Association conducted a survey of more than 2,000 Americans. It rated stress levels on a scale of 1 to 10 and examined participants in a variety of age groups. It turns out that the young adults — a generational group called millennials — are a 5.4 on the scale, which is higher than the national average of 4.9.

During a press conference, Norman Anderson, a representative of the American Psychological Association, listed possible reasons for the millennials’ stress. Among possible factors were employment concerns, money anxiety, and even retirement. He suggested that the unemployment rates, coupled with challenges like starting a family and repaying student loans, also contribute to the generation’s stress.

In addition, young adults also feel insecure about the support systems that they do have in place, like health care. According to the study, 25% of young adults

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give the health system a grade of A, which is less than the national average of 32%.

Equally problematic is the fact that many millennials feel as though they aren’t doing a good job of keeping their stress levels in control. Forty-nine percent say they struggle with stress management, and many of the study’s participants do not have a lot of faith in their doctors’ abilities to help. Only 17% indicated that they believe their doctors have helped them with their stress. Of course, that could be in part the result of a lack of communication. Only 17% indicated that they talk about stress management with their doctors on a frequent basis — something that 32% of young adults believe could be helpful.

The survey results indicate that many young Americans do realize the importance of managing their stress levels and speaking with mental health professionals. But despite this awareness, stress levels are increasing — and not only in the millennial generation. In total, stress is on the rise in one-third of all Americans.

If you need help decreasing the amount of stress you feel, visit our article on simple ways to reduce stress. If those steps don’t help, then consider speaking with your doctor.