How 'Ambient Stress' Could be Impacting Your Mental Health
Even ambient stress can have health consequences
Americans’ mental health tanked during the first year of the pandemic. More than 36 percent of U.S. adults experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression in August 2020, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By January 2021, the number was above 40 percent.
It’s not hard to see why. A novel and scary virus was spreading without vaccines to slow it. Cities and states were in various degrees of lockdown for much of 2020, with many people forgoing special occasions and visits with friends and family. Isolation and fear were widespread, and people had every reason to feel acutely stressed.
But even as lockdowns lifted, people got vaccinated, and life resumed more of its normal rhythms, many people continued to feel... off. In an American Psychological Association (APA) survey published in October 2021, 75 percent of people said they’d recently experienced consequences of stress, including headaches, sleep issues, fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed.
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