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Stress is affecting our health more than it used to, but there’s a silver lining


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Photo: Stocksy/TJ Macke

If you find yourself lying awake in bed at night, worrying about the latest stressor du jour, you’re not alone: According to a new survey, Americans aren’t necessarily more stressed than they were in previous years—but they’re definitely more affected by the grisly condition.

While 40 percent of people’s stress kept them restless at night last year, this year that number is up to 45 percent—and it could be due to folks being worried about the state of the nation, according to findings from the American Psychological Association‘s annual survey of 3,440 adults. The survey results showed that 63 percent of people were more stressed out about what was going to happen to the country—whether related to health care or hate crimes or something else entirely—than common culprits like money and their job. But there is a silver lining: Stress might also be the surprising cause behind why more people are deciding to lend a helping hand.

The shaky state of the nation has actually inspired 51 percent of Americans to volunteer or support a cause important to them, and 59 percent have reportedly taken a form of action.

The shaky state of the nation has actually inspired 51 percent of Americans to volunteer or support a cause important to them, and 59 percent have taken a form of action—whether that means signing a petition or boycotting a company or product for a social or political reason.

So, yes, Americans might be stressed, but one thing is for sure: Stress won’t win without a fight. And who knows? Maybe the next social-action powerhouse event, à la last year’s Women’s March, is right around the proverbial corner.

Here are 10 ways wellness pros banish stress. And if you’re stressed about work, here’s how to deal with a toxic boss.