New ranking: Kentucky among most-stressed states

Courtesy of Pixabay and alsparkman

Feeling stressed? Despite Kentucky’s tranquil green pastures and Southern pleasantries, it’s not the most chill place in America.

That’s according to WalletHub, which this week ranked Kentucky the No. 4 most-stressed state in the country.

If you want to find a more laid-back place, head to Minnesota, the least stressed state, or even to Indiana, which fared better than Kentucky by being ranked the 17th most-stressed state.

But beware of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, which nabbed the top three spots in that order for being the most stressed.

To come up with the rankings, the WalletHub personal finance website compared the 50 states across “four key dimensions,” using 40 different metrics.

The dimensions were work-related stress, which included things like the unemployment rate and average hours worked per week; money-related stress, which included things like median income and median credit score; family-related stress, which included things like the separation-and-divorce rate and the cost of childcare; and health-and-safety related stress, which included things like the suicide rate and the share of adults getting adequate sleep.

Map of the states ranked by level of stress. Hoover over the state to see its ranking. Source: WalletHub

Kentucky has several areas to work on. It ranked No. 3 in terms of the fewest average hours of sleep per night, No. 2 in the highest percentage of adults in fair/poor health and No. 4 in the highest percentage of population living in poverty.

If you’re feeling stressed, here are some ways to address it, according to Mental Health America:

  • Be realistic. If you feel overwhelmed, learn to say no. Eliminate activities that aren’t necessary or are too much responsibility for you to handle.
  • Don’t try to be a superman or superwoman. Ask for help if you need it and be willing to make adjustments.
  • Try meditation. Ten to 20 minutes of quiet reflection may help.
  • Use your imagination and picture how you can manage a stressful situation more successfully.
  • Address one thing at a time.
  • Take time to exercise and pursue hobbies.
  • Be flexible. You might need to rethink your position or strategy. Allow for others’ opinions.
  • Go easy on criticism. Don’t expect too much of yourself or others, and avoid attacking people’s character. Provide constructive suggestions.
  • Share your feelings. Have a conversation with a relative, friend or another supportive person. If you’re having more than just passing trouble, consider talking with your doctor or clergy person, employee assistance professional or someone in the mental health field.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.