Back in October, the 2022 American Psychological Association annual survey on stress showed us a flashing red alert: Almost half of adults are feeling overwhelmed, and even paralyzed, by stress. Nearly 30% of people report feeling so stressed they cannot function. This numbness is a sign of burnout, and burnout is hard and slow to reverse. Stress impacts the ability to focus, make decisions, and get things done.

Clearly, the experience of stress and its effects are becoming more severe. Chronic stress puts us at risk for serious mental health disorders including depression1, anxiety2, and neurological disorders such as dementia3.

Daily stress degrades our social connections, impairs intimacy, and lessens the subtle feelings of joy we can tap into by appreciating the ordinary miracles of the everyday.

What would it feel like without all this stress bringing out our worst qualities: distraction, impatience, anger, reactivity, poor food choices, and even accelerated aging4? It's simple. Without the threat of daily stress, there will be more of you—the real you. Here are three ways to stress less and stress better in the year ahead:

 

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