How did you feel yesterday? Did you smile a lot? Did you feel sad? Were you worried? Or angry? How stressed are you?
These are some of the questions put to 151,000 people in 142 countries across the globe, in an annual study by Gallup to measure the world’s emotions.
In 2019, Greece emerged as the most stressed-out country, with 59% of its population experiencing stress. Other countries in the top 10 were Albania, Sri Lanka and the USA. Overall, the report found that a third of the world is stressed.
The World Health Organisation has dubbed stress a 21st-Century “epidemic”. While stress is normal, it can lead to problems if it becomes long term. Stress has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also feeds into existing mental health problems.
April is Stress Awareness Month, a time to think about ways of coping with stress. Here are three tips to get started:
1. Be active. Regular exercise is a great antidote for stress.
2. Take a few minutes to breathe. Calming breathing exercises help with stress, anxiety and panic – and can be done anywhere.
3. Reach out. If stress is becoming too difficult to manage by yourself, talk to a friend or trusted adult.
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We all get stressed when we are challenged – but, if it goes on for a long time, stress can lead to problems. In this fascinating animation, TedEd explains how it affects your body.
- Spend a minute on this mini meditation. Notice how it makes you feel.
- Using the interactive information from Gallup, make a presentation about your country’s emotional temperature.
- As a class, make a list of things that cause you stress. Then come up with ways of dealing with them and produce a list of instructions for beating stress.