Generation Gap: How Does Stress Affect You? - Strategist
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Generation Gap: How Does Stress Affect You?

Like Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a hill, we keep trying to preach the good word of relaxation to lawyers near and far.

Clearly, that's a fruitless endeavor. Lawyers are always going to be a high-stress bunch.

Instead of telling you how to live your life -- if you want to stress, that's your right -- today we're going to discuss how different generations handle stress.

A recent Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association shows that younger Americans report experiencing the most stress and the least relief. Millennials report higher stress levels than older generations and say they are not managing it well.

The study divides the generations into four categories: Millennials (ages 18 to 33), Gen Xers (ages 34 to 47), Boomers (48 to 66), and Matures (67 years and older). While Millennials and Gen Xers report the highest average stress levels, Boomers (48 to 66) and Matures (67 years and older) also indicate that their stress levels are higher than they consider healthy.

Work is a significant stressor for 76 percent of Millennials, 65 percent of Gen Xers, 62 percent of Boomers and 39 percent of Matures.

(Many of the Matures are retired; 61 percent of Matures are primarily stressed by health concerns. That seems reasonable.)

Since we're all about coping mechanisms, let's discuss the different ways the generations cope with stress.

According to the study, Millennials tend to turn to their friends, music, food, or shopping to manage stress. (Because gaining weight and running up your credit card bills never increases stress.) Gen Xers lead the generational pack in turning to the bottle or smoking to cope. (Also healthy.)

The Boomers are the most likely group to read or exercise to decompress, while the Mature audience heads to church or a religious service.

How -- or if -- you manage your stress is up to you, but it could have long-term consequences on your health. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor, told the Huffington Post, "Stress is a huge factor when we look at medical problems such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease."

In other words, if you don't stop fretting about work in your younger years, you could have even more health-related concerns when you become a "Mature."

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