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Report: Baltimore Among Most Stressed Cities In America

Stacy M. Brown | 11/22/2019, 6 a.m.
A new study suggests that many Baltimore residents experience the type of stress that continues for lengthy periods. City residents ...

Everyone feels stressed from time to time but some people may cope with stress more effectively or recover from stressful events more quickly than others, according to the National Institute on Mental Health.

There are different types of stress – all of which carry physical and mental health risks, according to experts. A stressor may be a one time or short term occurrence, or it can be an occurrence that keeps happening over a long period of time.

A new study suggests that many Baltimore residents experience the type of stress that continues for lengthy periods. City residents experience the third highest work-related stress and the fourth highest family-stress in the country, according to the study of the “Most & Least Stressed Cities in America,” conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based personal finance website, WalletHub.com.

Further, according to the study, city residents have the eigth highest financial-related stress in the nation – all of which served to place Baltimore fourth overall among all cities when it comes to stress. Detroit, Cleveland, and Newark (NJ) ranked first, second and third respectfully. Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Birmingham (Ala.), Wilmington (Delaware), and Shreveport (La.), rounded out the top 10 most stressed cities. Fremont (Calif.), Bismarck (N.D.), Sioux Falls (S.D.), Overland Park (Kansas), and Irvine (Calif.), ranked as the five least stressed cities.

To determine the cities where Americans cope best, WalletHub compared 182 cities – including the 150 most populated – across four key dimensions: work stress; financial stress; family stress; and health and safety stress.

Experts found that a little bit of stress, known as acute stress, can be exciting – it keeps people active and alert but, when stress reaches an unmanageable level, however, it turns chronic and that’s when individuals become vulnerable to its damaging effects such as health problems and loss of productivity.

According to WalletHub, in the U.S., stress affects more than 100 million people with money, work, family and relationships counting among the leading causes. Also, by some estimates, workplace-related stress alone costs society more than $300 billion per year.

“Stress, conflict and tension are part of life, and being a part of a family should teach us how to solve problems and take care of ourselves in healthy ways,” said WalletHub expert Julie Ann Liefeld, a clinical director at Southern Connecticut University.

The best way to alleviate tensions and stressors is to have healthy strategies to resolve them, otherwise they simply join you on your vacations, she said.

“During difficult times, healthy families tend to cooperate, rather than blame or compete. They don’t tend to use a scapegoat when things go wrong. They stay focused on resolving a problem without making anyone feel they are losing their value or their love,” Liefeld said.

Work-related stress is of increasing importance over the past few decades due to the demands of the contemporary work environment, said Alper Kayaalp, a WalletHub expert and assistant professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at South Dakota State University.

“Indeed stress is so common that it likely affects every employee at some point during their careers. Employees usually experience stress from work when the demands of their jobs exceed their mental and physical resources and coping abilities,” Kayaalp said.

“Numerous surveys and studies confirm that job stress not only affects health and well-being of employees in general but also deteriorates performance at work. It, therefore, could be a significant factor to poor performance, unmet expectations, organizational inefficiency, high turnover, absenteeism, and burnout,” he said.

To view the full study, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-stressed-cities/22759/