According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 8.3 million American adults suffer from serious psychological distress (3.4 percent of the entire population).
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But according to personal finance website WalletHub and its “Most and Least Stressed Cities in America” study, some cities are better than others when it comes to coping with stress.
Augusta, which ranked ninth most stressed in the country for 2017, is not one of them.
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WalletHub analysts compared the country’s 150 most populated cities across four key dimensions: work stress, financial stress, family stress and health/safety stress.
They used 30 relevant metrics to evaluate the dimensions, including average weekly work hours, poverty rate, personal bankruptcy rate, divorce rate, number of adults diagnosed with depression, suicide rate, average hours of sleep and many more.
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Data for the ranking came from the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Bureau of Investigation among several more.
Based on the research, the most stressed city in the country is Newark, New Jersey, where residents are most likely to experience work-related stress.
Most and least stressed Georgia cities
Augusta (No. 9 most stressed overall) also ranked 64th for work-related stress, 12th for financial stress, 13th for family-related stress and 21st for health-/safety-related stress.
The city fell two spots since 2016.
Another Georgia city, Columbus, ranked 34th on the 2017 list, a huge jump from its No. 7 position last year.
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Atlanta made a significant improvement from last year’s No. 31 spot, too, ranking 74th overall on the 2017 list, placing it among the 30 American cities best at coping with stress.
The metro also ranked second least stressed for work-related stress, family-related stress and health-/safety- related stress.
While Atlanta ranked 19th for financial stress, it’s a huge improvement from last year’s No. 4 spot.
The top 10 most stressed cities in America, according to WalletHub:
- Newark, New Jersey
- Detroit, Michigan
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Jackson, Mississippi
- Miami, Florida
- Birmingham, Alabama
- San Bernardino, California
- Rochester, New York
- Shreveport, Louisiana
And the top 10 least stressed:
- Fremont, California
- Plano, Texas
- Overland Park, Kansas
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Irvine, California
- Gilbert, Arizona
- Peoria, Arizona
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Boise, Idaho
More about the WalletHub ranking.
In April, WalletHub also ranked Georgia one of the most stressed states overall, especially when it comes to coping with family-related stressors.
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Stress can lead to many chronic diseases, including depression, obesity and heart disease.
If you feel you are under stress, recognize when you need help.
Follow these tips from the CDC:
- Take care of yourself by eating healthy, well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and giving yourself a mental break when you feel stressed out.
- Talk to others. Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor or pastor.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol, both of which may seem to help in the moment. In the long run, they create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.
- Take a break. If your stress is caused by a national or local event, take breaks from listening to the news stories, which can increase your stress.
- Recognize when you need more help. If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker or professional counselor.
More at CDC.gov.