Stress got you down? Harvard panel says you’re not alone

Seinfeld fans may recall George Costanza’s stress reduction mantra Serenity, now! This outburst momentarily relieved him of stress caused by his interfering and embarrassing parents. While we can laugh at the hijinks that cause frustration for the popular sitcom’s character, stress isn’t much fun in real life.


The Health Burden of Stress in America at Harvard. Photo Credit: Thomas Earle
The Health Burden of Stress in America at Harvard. Credit: Thomas Earle


Apparently, speakers during Wednesday’s Harvard School of Public Health forum, The Health Burden of Stress: What We Can Do About It, agree. The program highlighted findings in The Burden of Stress in America poll, and the short and long-term impact that stress has on people. The panelists included Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School; Kristin Schubert, senior program officer and team director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Gregory Fricchione, associate chief of psychiatry and director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital; and, Joshua Riff, medical director and director of health and well-being at Target Corporation.

The Burden of Stress in America poll, conducted by the program’s sponsors, HSPH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and National Public Radio, revealed that 25% of respondents experience high levels of stress. The main stressors, according to Blendon when citing the poll’s statistics are health issues and low pay.

I don’t think that most Americans would be surprised to find that so many respondents experience constant and long-term stress, no matter the causes. With so many demands, real and imagined, sometimes we are overwhelmed and stressed out. The alarming result of all those irritations can have a long-lasting impact on physical and emotional health.

Read the entire Harvard Gazette article about the forum

View video from the forum

Talk back to us: What stresses you out and what do you do to ease your frustration? Leave your reply below.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

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