According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 8.3 million American adults suffer from serious psychological distress.
But residents of some American cities seem to fare worse than others when it comes to coping with stress.
That’s according to personal finance website WalletHub’s 2019 ranking of the most and least stressed cities in the nation, a list comparing 182 U.S. cities — including the 150 most populated in America and the two most populated cities in each state — across four key dimensions: work stress, financial stress, family stress and health/safety stress.
Analysts further evaluated those four dimensions using 39 relevant metrics, including average weekly work hours, job security, median incomes, child care costs and mental health.
Of the 182 cities on the list, Detroit and Cleveland ranked the most stressed cities in America, followed by Newark, New Jersey; Baltimore; and Philadelphia.
Fremont, California; Bismarck, North Dakota; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, were among the three least stressed cities.
All three Georgia cities included in the WalletHub report ranked among the 40 most stressed in the country.
- Augusta came in at No. 19, ranking 15th in family stress, 20th in financial stress, 48th in health/safety and 84th in work stress.
- Columbus was just a few spots behind at No. 23 and ranked ninth overall for financial stress. The Georgia city ranked 83rd in work stress, 28th in family stress and 89th in health/safety.
- Then came Atlanta at No. 39. The capital city ranked 19th in work stress, 32nd in financial stress, 45th for family stress and 129th in health/safety. For Atlanta, that’s a big hit from its spot at 74th just two years ago.
Stress isn’t always bad. The reaction can teach you how to manage potentially threatening situations. But prolonged, chronic stress can be quite harmful.
“Unlike everyday stressors, which can be managed with healthy stress management behaviors, untreated chronic stress can result in serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system,” according to the American Psychological Association.
Such conditions lend to heightened risk for heart disease and substance abuse.
Yet despite its connection to illness, “33 percent of Americans never discuss ways to manage stress with their healthcare provider,” the APA notes.
To manage your stress and make practical lifestyle changes, the APA recommends:
- going on a daily walk
- eating a healthy diet
- getting quality sleep
- reaching out to a licensed mental health professional
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