These Are the Most Stressed Out States in the Country

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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:

  1. Alabama
  2. Louisiana
  3. Mississippi
  4. West Virginia
  5. Kentucky
  6. New Mexico
  7. Georgia
  8. Tennessee
  9. Arkansas
  10. South Carolina
  11. Alaska
  12. Florida
  13. Arizona
  14. Oklahoma

Source: WalletHub

 

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.”

Related: Here Are the Happiest Cities in America

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.

Credit: Shanon Wise/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

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.

Related: Best & Worst Cities for Active Lifestyles Revealed

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.

A professional journalist nearly 30 years, David Heitz started his career at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa before moving to Los Angeles. He led the Glendale News-Press to best small daily newspaper in the state (CNPA) as managing editor and also worked as executive news editor of the Press-Telegram. He worked briefly as deputy news editor of the Detroit News before returning to the Quad-Cities, where he has worked as a freelance medical writer since 2012 for several national websites. He recently purchased his childhood home and says he truly is “living the dream.”