According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), many Americans are concerned over access to health care, mass shootings, and the 2020 presidential election, apart from recurrent concerns such as “work” and “money.”
The annual “Stress in America” survey was conducted from August 1 to September 3, with polling of more than 3,600 adults across the nation.
Investigators wrote, “While overall stress levels have not changed significantly over the past few years, the proportion of Americans who say they are experiencing stress about specific issues has risen over the past year.”
They found that 56 percent of the participants said the 2020 presidential election has already been a “significant stressor,” an increase from 52 percent who said the 2016 presidential election was stressful.
The survey also found that nearly 70 percent of adults are concerned about access to health care, including high drug costs, while more than 71 percent concerned about mass shootings. Other stressful events Americans were concerned about include abortion, climate change, national security, discrimination, and immigration.
However, the survey found that stress levels, in general, were significantly less among older adults and people who belong to baby boomer generation than younger Gen X, Gen Z, and millennials.
APA CEO Arthur Evans said, “There is a lot of uncertainty in our world right now. While [there] are important societal issues that need to be addressed, the results also reinforce the need to have more open conversations about the impact of stress and stress management, especially with groups that are experiencing high levels of stress.”
Evans noted, “Research shows us that over time, prolonged feelings of anxiety and stress can affect our overall physical and mental health.” Meanwhile, the APA recommends getting enough sleep at night, exercising regularly, and maintaining good networks of social support to manage stress.