This blog post is written by Briana Carter, a volunteer consultant at Abide. Briana has been managing a funded research project and shares her insights below.
If you earned an extra $50,000 today, would you be less stressed? Chances are that the extra cash would help. A survey done by Carnegie Mellon showed that people who who made an extra $50k in their income were less stressed out than those who didn't.
Don’t have a foreseeable way to earning any extra $50k anytime soon? Don’t worry- there’s other things that can help decrease your stress levels.
At Abide we launched a research project studying how religious behaviors and attitudes correspond with stress. Funded by the support of the Macllelan Foundation and the Impact Foundation, we studied the stress levels of different demographics, as well as common solutions that help. We'll share some of these findings in this blog post.
What are the common causes of stress?
Before we share a workable solution for overcoming stress, perhaps it would be imperative to discuss the cause of that stress. Numerous surveys and studies show that stress levels in America are increasing due to a variety of issues. Stress can be linked to money issues, family dysfunction, and family & health problems.
During the time of our survey many things have been transpiring around the world. Hurricanes, terrorist attacks, Charlottesville events, and healthcare concerns increase our stress levels. Americans are stressed, regardless of their demographic makeup.
Are you more or less stressed out as you age?
Based on our research at Abide, we’ve noticed millennials (age 25-35) are prone to higher perceived stress levels than those in the age range of 45-54. Millennials experience societal pressures from feeling unsatisfied with their current job, wanting to obtain the “American Dream”, and generating as many likes on social media as possible.
If you are feeling some of these pressures, have hope! The data shows that as you get older, you may perceive life to be less stressful. Many of the decisions that weigh heavily now will be figured out with life experience, and you may be content with how life has played out. Baby Boomers (ages 45-54) are less stressed and have higher satisfaction with their times of prayer and Biblical meditation.
What helps lower stress levels?
While earning an extra $50k may be nice, it is not the only way to lower your stress levels. Our research shows that if you are suffering with depression, anxiety or stress, meditation can help bring relief. Being satisfied with your prayer life is equivalent to making an extra $50k.
Satisfaction in prayer and Bible meditation is equal to $50k.
Respondents who indicated a satisfaction with their prayer and meditation times were less stressed than those unsatisfied with their prayer and meditation times.
Do you want to decrease your stress, anxiety, and depression levels? Research shows that choosing to meditate will help, as meditation directly impacts your perception of the circumstances that are causing stress and anxiety.
We surveyed Abide users, and daily listeners were 287% more likely to be satisfied with their prayer and Bible meditation times than people who just downloaded Abide.
Whether you are old, young, single, married, poor, rich, black, or white, chances are at some point in your life you will be stressed. Life's ups and downs are unavoidable.
For many readers, the thought of striving to earn extra income is stressful in and of itself. Not everyone can earn $50k so easily. Since stress is inevitable, instead try meditation as a way to bring peace into your life.