Twenty-eight percent of Americans say they are managing their stress extremely well. However, many people report experiencing physical symptoms (77 percent) and psychological symptoms (73 percent) related to stress in the last month.
Physical symptoms of stress include: fatigue (51 percent); headache (44 percent); upset stomach (34 percent); muscle tension (30 percent); change in appetite (23 percent), teeth grinding (17 percent); change in sex drive (15 percent); and feeling dizzy (13 percent). Psychological symptoms of stress include: experiencing irritability or anger (50 percent); feeling nervous (45 percent); lack of energy (45 percent); and feeling as though you could cry (35 percent). In addition, almost half (48 percent) of Americans report lying awake at night due to stress.
While Americans deal with high levels of stress on a daily basis, the health consequences are most serious when that stress is managed poorly. Four in ten Americans (43 percent) say they overeat or eat unhealthy foods to manage stress, while one-third (36 percent) skipped a meal in the last month because of stress. Those who drink (39 percent) or smoke cigarettes (19 percent) were also more likely to engage in these unhealthy behaviors during periods of high stress. Significant numbers of Americans report watching TV for more than two hours a day (43 percent) and playing video games or surfing the Internet (39 percent). Healthy behaviors used to manage stress included: listening to music (54 percent); reading (52 percent); exercising or walking (50 percent); spending time with family and friends (40 percent); and praying (34 percent).