OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The American Psychological Association reported Americans are experiencing overwhelming levels of stress.
In a new study, Oklahoma is ranked as one of the most stressful states to live in. Now, a local psychologist is weighing in.
“Anytime we stay in a long-term survival mode, it has a detrimental effect to both our emotional health as well as our physical health,” said Dr. Maria Trapp, from OU Health.
Dr. Trapp was not surprised to hear of the APA’s new findings, that Americans are experiencing high levels of stress. She said it stems from the pandemic, record high inflation, and the unknowns from the Russia-Ukrainian war.
“We get so much information, just an onslaught of information all the time, every day, any minute of the day, that I think it’s very hard not to be affected,” said the doctor.
In a recent study, WalletHub ranked Oklahoma as the 7th most stressful state to live in. Going deeper, the Sooner State is ranked top ten in work, family, and health and safety-related stress. Dr. Trapp said the Oklahoma work ethic is helping to up the stressors.
“We have a tendency to be hard workers,” said Dr. Trapp. “We have a tendency to be people that want to do well and to do well with the rising costs means you’re working more hours, and if you’re working more hours, that usually means more stress.”
Plus, not every Oklahoman has access to mental health resources.
“I mean, we’re third in the country for having the least number of available psychologists to utilize,” she said. “Most psychologists are more in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, you know, larger city areas. They’re not our in rural areas.”
Dr. Trapp said the best way to fight the stress is diet and exercise.
“We usually have a very beige diet. It’s not full of lovely colors or fruits or vegetables and proteins first,” said Dr. Trapp. “If I could get everybody to be active everyday, I’d be out of a job and I would be fine with that.”
The doctor also wants you to put down your phone and limit your screen time.
Dr. Trapp said if you’re suffering from high stress or anxiety and a psychologist isn’t close to you, explore using telehealth doctors