Minnesota Opinion: Minnesota is a good place to chill
By the Echo Press Editorial Board
If you’ve been feeling stressed out lately, you’ve got company.
It’s April — Stress Awareness Month and a whopping 83% of American adults are being stressed out by inflation, according to a new report from the personal-finance website, WalletHub .
But if you live in Minnesota, you have reasons to chill out. Minnesota’s stress levels rank near the bottom in several key categories, according to WalletHub’s “2023 Most and Least Stressed Out States” report.
To determine the states with the highest stress levels, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 41 key metrics. Here’s a sampling of stress levels in Minnesota (a ranking of 1st is the most stressed, 25th is average and 50th is least stressed):
40th – average hours worked per week.
49th – share of adults getting adequate sleep.
46th – percentage of adults in fair/poor health.
24th – job security.
50th – median credit score.
33rd – housing affordability.
47th – percent of population living in poverty.
45th – divorce rate.
28th – crime rate per capita.
41st – psychologists per capita.
For the full report, visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/most-stressed-states/32218
The study asked experts to comment on stress-related topics, including:
What tips do you have for fighting stress without spending money?
“There are lots of ways to fight stress without spending money. Stress is a psychological and biological response to feeling overwhelmed or out of control or threatened, or when life feels unpredictable,” said Leah C. Hibel, a professor at the Center for Poverty Faculty Affiliate, University of California, Davis. “Stress in large doses, or over long periods can erode your mental and physical health. Some ways to fight these feelings could be creating a routine or building predictability into your life. But if the stressor is out of your control, there are still things you can do to dampen the effects of stress. Social support is a primary buffer against stress. Connect with loved ones, find someone who can empathize, and be there with you to listen or lend a helping hand. Being active (like going for daily walks or runs) and incorporating physical exercise into your life can also be a great way to reduce the harmful effects of stress biology. Meditation and yoga can also be good ways to introduce some calm into your life.”
What steps can people take to reduce stress over finances?
“Many people feel stress when they perceive that their problems are out of their control,” said Joanne H. Gavin, Ph.D., a professor at Marist College. “If your finances are causing you stress, make a plan on how to address the problem. Make a budget to get out of debt and stick to it. Even small steps to getting out from under this burden will make you feel better. If your debt burden is beyond a simple budget, contact your creditors and negotiate a different repayment schedule. Most creditors are happy to work with you. But the bottom line is to do something to work toward correcting your financial problems. It will reduce your distress. Doing nothing will only increase the stress you are feeling.”
What tips do you have for parents trying to minimize their children’s stress levels?
“Teach their children how to recognize, label, and regulate their emotions,” said Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., interim vice provost for academic affairs and co-chief diversity officer at California State University, San Bernardino. “Teach them that taking a time out is not a bad thing but a way to calm down and take deep breaths to feel better about stressful situations. Children like to be kept in the know, just as adults get to live their days with intention, children should be given the power and option to do that too, whenever possible. Warn kids about what you will be doing that day and build in choices for them when you can. Teach them good communication skills so they can express themselves and allow time for the parent to be on their own with each child where the goal is just to be together.”