63 Percent of Americans Say This is Their Biggest Source of Stress

The majority of Americans are stressed—and there's a single reason to blame.

Here in the United States, millions of people struggle with their mental health every single day. And though mental health issues come in many shapes and sizes, by far the most common mental illness in the United States is anxiety, with some 40 million adults—or 18.1 percent of the population—suffering from the often-debilitating condition, as per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America's estimates.

Even Americans who don't suffer from a diagnosed anxiety disorder experience periods of nail-biting nervousness, and research suggests that, among those afflicted, those bouts of anxiety seem to be getting more and more frequent. (In August 2018, for instance, book retailer Barnes & Noble noted that sales of anxiety-related books had spiked by a staggering 25 percent since the previous June.) While curing and altogether eliminating anxiety is unfortunately all but impossible, it certainly helps the treatment process to know why exactly so many Americans are feeling more stressed than usual—and one report has the answers.

According to the American Psychological Association's (APA) most recent "Stress in America" survey released last year, it was neither money nor work that was listed as Americans' biggest source of stress for the first time ever. Rather, of the 3,440 American adults over the age of 18 who took the survey, approximately 2,167—or 63 percent—said that the future of our nation was weighing most heavily on their minds. This top stressor was followed closely by money, work, the current political climate, and violence and crime.

When the APA continued their stress research this summer, they concluded that national issues remained a top source of stress for younger and older individuals alike. In their most recent study, titled "Stress in America: Generation Z," the organization found that a staggering 75 percent of Gen Zs (those born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s) and 62 percent of older adults feel a "significant source of stress" as the result of mass shootings, and 68 percent of younger individuals feel anxious about the nation's future.

Though sources of stress seem to be popping up everywhere these days, there is one silver lining in the APA's survey. While just 15 percent of older adults and 22 percent of Baby Boomers reported ever seeking professional help for their anxiety issues, 35 percent of Millennials and 37 percent of Gen Zs said that they've seen a psychologist or other mental health professional at some point. So while anxiety levels may be on the rise, so is the ubiquity of treatment, while the stigma against receiving help for mental health issues continues to drop. And if you're struggling to cope with your stress levels, then try these 12 Genius Tricks for Turning Anxiety into Excitement.

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