Why Are You So Stressed?

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In a recent poll, the top cause of stress is money, followed by work and the economy—which directly involve money. So basically, it all comes down to moolah. We’re all stressed about money, and/or not having enough of it, and/or not knowing where in the world to get more.

The American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America survey shows that money appears to be the root of all stresses, or at least a whole lot of them in today’s shaken, uncertain economy. A survey summary says that money and money-related issues are the top sources of stress, and that stress related to employment (or lack thereof) is rising:

As the aftershocks of the Great Recession continue to be felt across the country, money (76 percent), work (70 percent) and the economy (65 percent) remain the most oft-cited sources of stress for Americans. Job stability is on the rise as a source of stress; nearly half (49 percent) of adults reported that job stability was a source of stress in 2010 (compared to 44 percent in 2009). At the same time, fewer Americans are satisfied with the ways their employer helps them balance work and non-work demands (36 percent compared to 42 percent in 2009).

And what is all this stress doing to us? According to the survey:

• Two-fifths of adults reported overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress in the past month.
• Nearly one-third said they skipped a meal because of stress in the past month.
• More than four in 10 said they had lain awake at night in the past month.
• The most common physical symptoms of stress reported were irritability (45 percent), fatigue (41 percent) and lack of energy or motivation (38 percent).

We’re cranky, we’re tired, our diets are bad, and we’re not taking care of ourselves physically or mentally. Sounds like being a parent of a newborn. Speaking of which, parents apparently feel money-related stress at higher rates than the general population, with 80% saying they’re stressed about money, and 72% of parents stressed about both work and the economy.

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