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More Than Half Of Americans Are Stressed By Politics

18 February 2017

"The stress were seeing around political issues is deeply concerning, because its hard for Americans to get away from it", said Katherine C Nordal, APAs executive director for professional practice. Based on the report developed by the American Psychological Association (APA) called Stress in America: Coping with Change, about two-thirds of the population of the U.S. is stressed when thinking of the changes which may come now that Trump is leading the country. People with more than a high school education were more likely to report stress related to the election outcome compared to people with a high school education or less.

It's worth noting that prior to the election, Americans' stress level was on the decline - and in the ten years since they've been conducting the survey, the APA has never before seen such a significant increase in stress. From August 2016 to January 2017, stress over acts of terrorism increased from 51% to 59%, stress over police violence toward minorities increased from 36% to 44% and stress over personal safety increased from 29% to 34%.

How stress affects the bodyNEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 2 2017: Thousands of Yemeni bodega owners closed their stores & rallied with supporters at Borough Hall to oppose President Trump's immigration ban on Yemen.

Between the 2016 survey and January's follow up, the average reported stress level rose from 4.8 to 5.1, on a scale where 1 means little to no stress and 10 means maximum stress.

Therefore, the APA experts strongly recommend Americans to take their mind off politics and concentrate on other things which help them relax. Meanwhile, 49 percent of those questioned said the outcome of the 2016 election, in which Trump was elected president and the Republican Party gained control of both the House and Senate, has become a specific source of new stress. 76% of them said that they fear for their future.

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The recent poll is a follow-up to APA's annual Stress in America survey, conducted every August since 2007.

The previous survey wanted to know if people are stressed about the election. That uncertainty, she says, can be a major source of stress regardless of political affiliation.

The study shows that these raised stress levels may impact the health of Americans.

The ones who live in rural areas were not as concerned about the future of their nation as were the ones who live in urban areas. This time, however, people are also citing politics as a serious stressor in their lives. In August, 71 per cent of Americans reported feeling a physical or emotional symptom of stress at least one day that month. "It can make existing health problems worse, and even cause disease, either because of changes in the body or bad habits people develop to cope with stress".