Oklahoma ranked among most stressed states

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The American Psychological Association has reported that 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 stepping in.

“Any time we stay in a long-term survival mode, it has a detrimental effect on both our emotional health and our physical health,” said Dr Maria Trapp, of OU Health.

Dr. Trapp was not surprised to learn of the APA’s new findings that Americans experience high levels of stress. She said it stemmed from the pandemic, record inflation and the unknowns of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

“We get so much information, just an onslaught of information all the time, every day, every minute of the day, that I think it’s very hard not to be affected,” said doctor.

In a recent study, WalletHub ranked Oklahoma 7and the most stressful state to live in. Going further, the Sooner State is ranked in the top ten for stress related to work, family, health and safety. Dr. Trapp said Oklahoma’s work ethic contributes to increased stressors.

“We tend to be hard workers,” Dr. Trapp said. “We tend to be people who want to do well and doing well with rising costs means you work longer hours, and if you work longer hours it usually means more stress.”

Additionally, not all Oklahomans have access to mental health resources.

“I mean, we’re third in the country for having the fewest psychologists available to use,” she said. “Most psychologists are more in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, you know, big cities. These are not our rural areas.

Dr. Trapp said the best way to deal with stress is through diet and exercise.

“We usually have a very beige diet. It’s not full of beautiful colors or fruits or vegetables and protein first,” Dr Trapp said. “If I could get everyone active every day, I’d be out of a job and be found with this.”

The doctor also wants you to put down your phone and limit your screen time.

Dr Trapp said if you suffer from high stress or anxiety and a psychologist is not close to you, consider using telehealth doctors

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