Countdown Reason # 13: The American Stress Crisis

A new study released today by the American Psychological Association found, after studying 2000 Americans, that the day-to-day stress the average American is living with surpasses healthy stress levels.  Americans say their daily stress is at a 3.6 on a 10-point scale. Just think of that for a minute in terms of the physical “pain scale” you fill out when you go to the doctor’s.  If you are experiencing physical pain that is almost a 4 out of 10 (with a 10 being as doctors say, “the worst pain you’ve ever experienced”) that’s painful.

Ditto with emotional stress.

Worse, for many Americans, stress levels are on the rise — 35 percent of all Americans say their stress increased this past year, and two-thirds of U.S. adults who report living with “high stress” say their stress levels have risen.

Yet 53 percent of Americans say they receive little or no support for stress management from their health care providers, and that stress management is not discussed at doctors’ visits.

APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD. says, “Unfortunately, our country’s health system often neglects psychological and behavioral factors that are essential to managing stress and chronic diseases. In order for our nation to get healthier, and lower the rates of chronic illnesses…we need to improve how we view and treat stress and unhealthy behaviors that are contributing to the high incidence of disease in the U.S.”

When it comes to stress management and wellness, says the APA report, “there is a gap between what Americans want from their health care system and what they actually get.”

I’m hoping, with all my heart, that THE LAST BEST CURE will help to fill that gap. 13 days.