File that title under “duh”. But 2020 was a heightened example of a trend that began to be measured in 2006. It is common to say life is more stressful than “back then” or in “simpler times” or “back in my day”, but measuring stress can be difficult. Some researchers have attempted to measure stress. Their results show that stress has been increasing worldwide, and except for a few years, stress has been increasing as measured by personal, subjective assessments. And then 2020 hit. From 2006 through 2019 the percentage of people having recently felt stress has risen from 29% to 35%. That jumped to 40% in one year. 6% over 14 years, 5% in one year. So, yes, 2020 felt like more than a decade’s stress increase. Subjective measurements are not as reliable as objective measurements (feelings can vary from person to person), but subjective measurements trending over long periods and large populations moderate the fluctuations and can reveal real trends. Life has been getting more stressful, stress is worldwide, and our civilization and society can have difficulties managing abnormal events.
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