The hits keep coming for the South. After sweeping the top 10 of America’s fattest cities, Southern states top yet another list — this one for the most stressed.
The states are, in order of most stressed out:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
The least stressed states, meanwhile? In descending order, beginning with the most laid back state of all: Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Kansas and Connecticut.
The study was conducted by the personal finance site WalletHub. The WalletHub team analyzed 33 key metrics, from bankruptcy rates to how much sleep people get in certain states. You can read the entire report by clicking here.
Other Key Metrics
- Job security: It’s the lowest in Kentucky, highest in Delaware.
- Credit scores: Mississippians have the lowest credit scores in America. North Dakotans, the highest.
- Housing: Least affordable in Hawaii, most affordable in Iowa.
- Divorce: Lowest rate is in Utah. Highest rate is in the District of Columbia.
- Crime: It’s the highest in Washington per capita. It’s the lowest in Idaho.
How to De-Stress Your Everyday Life
So how can we de-stress without taking expensive vacations all the time?
“Exercise,” said Mary Blair-Loy, professor in the Department of Sociology at UC San Diego. “I just joined the Women’s Basketball League at the Y. I’m a novice but learning fast. What a high. Play with your kids, pets, other loved ones. Laugh.”
Adds David Rothwell, assistant professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences at Oregon State University, “Exercise, spend time in nature/outdoors, meditation.”
Rothwell believes insurance companies should pay for stress reduction treatments. As for children, “It’s important for the parents to model stress management behaviors,” he said.
Debra Mollen, professor and Director of the Counseling Psychology Master’s Program at Texas Woman’s University, said “Pursue proven strategies for managing stress: Engage in pleasurable physical activities, cultivate a yoga and meditation practice, volunteer for a cause that matters deeply to you, spend time in nature, learn a new skill, and connect with supportive friends.”
Like Rothwell, she is a staunch advocate for insurance companies paying for stress-reduction treatments.
In terms of tips for parents wanting to raise low-stress kids, “Encourage healthy habits early, including developing good relationships with others.”
Mollen said it’s important children also learn to have compassion for themselves and to treat themselves well, and to also learn a strong work ethic, develop critical thinking skills, how to save a portion of all money earned, and about moving physically in ways that are safe and enjoyable.