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New Report Says Americans Are Stressed

According to the latest Stress in America Survey conducted annually by the America Psychological Association, average stress levels have decreased since 2007. Despite this downward trend, many Americans say they continue to struggle to achieve their healthy living goals and that stress adversely affects their eating and sleeping habits.

The survey also finds that money is a tremendous cause of stress in America. Nearly one third of adults report that their finances or lack of money prevent them from living a healthy lifestyle.

Among women, those who have high stress related to money are more likely to report sedentary or unhealthy behaviors than women with low stress about money. Compared with women with low money-related stress, those with high money-related stress report watching television/movies for more than two hours per day (55 percent vs. 38 percent), surfing the Internet (57 percent vs. 34 percent), napping/sleeping (41 percent vs. 23 percent), eating (40 percent vs. 19 percent), drinking alcohol (21 percent vs. 9 percent) or smoking (19 percent vs. 7 percent).

Women who say their stress about money is high also are significantly more likely than women who say they have low stress about money to rate their health as fair or poor (34 percent vs. 13 percent).

Among all adults, about one third report eating too much or eating unhealthy foods over the last month in response to stress.

Can you relate to any or all of the above?

Stress is an inevitable part of all our lives. Finding ways to cope with stress in a healthful way is essential to preserve both health and sanity. Easier said than done, I know, but critical if you want to look and feel your best and optimize your overall health.

While there’s no one size fits all approach to managing stress, my book, Younger Next Week (Harlequin Nonfiction) is a tool you can use to move towards more balance in your life, especially in the face of stress. The book has an anti-aging twist, but really it’s about promoting vitality and managing stress among women. (Even some men have said that the book has helped them establish more healthful food and fitness habits).

In the book, I describe several ways stress affects our habits—e.g. it makes us overeat, eat late at night, over-caffeinate, or even drink too much alcohol); then I provide solutions including Stressipes® (remedies to help you overcome the negative effects stress has on your food, fitness, and lifestyle behaviors).

Younger Next Week also includes a Vitality Plan complete with food lists, easy-to-follow menus, and delicious recipes created by Robyn Webb. The book has been honored with three awards (Winner, 2014 USA Best Book Award, and two National Health Information Awards of Merit) and I hope it will help you and the women in your life learn to nurture and care for yourselves, especially in the face or wake of stress, and to not just survive it but thrive in spite of it.

To learn more about Younger Next Week, click here.

For more on stress management, check out some great resources by the American Psychological Association here.

How do you handle stress in a positive and productive way?

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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