Stressed Out in America — or How NOT to Deal with Stress

Millie Grenough

“Stressed Out in America” shouted the New Haven Register front page. Reporter Ed Stannard cited stats showing that the level of anxiety is increasing:

“Two-thirds of Americans say they are stressed about the future of our nation, including a majority of both Democrats and Republicans,” according to the American Psychological Association’s report Stress in America™: Coping with Change.

“Between August 2016 and January 2017, the overall average reported stress level of Americans rose… At the same time, more Americans said that they experienced physical and emotional symptoms of stress in the prior month, health symptoms that the APA warns could have long-term consequences.”

Not surprising to me since my field is Stress Management. Not surprising to you, because you’re living in it.

The question: what do with this current reality? A piercing question for each of us.

How am I dealing with stress?

  • Trying not to tear out my hair. Brush it instead.
  • When I feel angry, use that energy to take a positive action—even if a tiny one.
  • Pay more attention to everything and everyone around me: my grandkids, people I meet in the supermarket.
  • Try not to judge people’s words instantly. Instead, listen with longer pauses. Look for common ground.
  • Temper my addiction to news. Instead, walk around the block, meditate, hang out with friends.

How are you managing your stress? Let me know.

If it feels right to you, join me for a whole-day retreat at Copper Beech Institute on Sunday March 19. Theme? Welcome Fresh Life This Spring. Time to refocus, refresh, rejuvenate.

As the good ol’ song says, You gotta accentuate the positive… Give it a shot.