What Is Stress Management? – American Heart Association

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Whether you work in an office, at home or a factory, or manage a household and care for energetic kids, every week can bring many stressful situations. Particular stressors can affect some groups more than others. And that’s to say nothing of the ongoing pandemic. COVID-19, its economic impact and the social isolation of lockdowns took a toll on many Americans’ mental health. 
Let’s talk about some of the sources of stress and what you can do to manage stress.
But first, a basic question you may be asking:
Yes, especially if your “stressed out” feeling remains constant, or chronic. Chronic stress can affect your physical and mental health. It can weaken your immune system and cause physical symptoms too. 
Talking about stress and its impact on our lives is still somewhat taboo. That’s especially true for some groups: Among Black communities, for example, acknowledging stress may be viewed as inconsistent with a strong work ethic. Many in the Black community may not feel as though they have the luxury to worry about stress management.
When people cite what’s causing them stress, many answers have remained near the top of the list for years.
These answers span generations and groups. But certain stressors, such as discrimination, affect some groups more than others. Making matters worse, many members of affected communities may not feel as though they can afford to manage stress, lacking the privilege of available time or income that others may be able to devote to de-stressing. 
It’s also worth making another observation about what causes stress, whether that cause is universal or specific to some groups. All too often, stress results from factors out of our control.
That brings us to a recent cause of stress, for everyone.
No question, 2020 had a devastating impact, on many fronts. But one of the lagging effects that has slowly revealed itself? The ongoing pandemic’s profound impact on the nation’s mental health.
Even before the pandemic, people in the U.S. were already among the most stressed populations in the world. COVID-19 and the social isolation of lockdowns impacted the minds of many.
A recent 2022 study found people in the U.S. have reported higher levels of loneliness, burnout, depression and sleep problems. Approximately 50% of people in the U.S. reported feelings of loneliness with highest rates in young adults. Many have turned to unhealthy ways to cope with stress, such as overeating, staring at screens nonstop, drinking to excess or substance abuse. 
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Last Reviewed: Feb 8, 2024

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Healthy Lifestyle
Be Well Together
Habits
Life's Essential 8
Staying Safe in the Water Infographic
Mental Health and Well-being
8 Things You Can Do to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke
How to Help Prevent Heart Disease At Any Age
Quit Vaping, Smoking, Tobacco
Sleep
Stress Management
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