Most people feel stress at some point during the day. Your relationship could be taking a wrong turn, your kids aren’t doing well in school or your boss gives you a hard time at work. The possibilities are endless. Last year, about 27 per cent of working adults described their lives on most days to be “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful, according to new study results by Statistics Canada.
That’s roughly 3.7 million Canadians feeling stressed out, and stress levels have been on the rise. In 2009, the number of Canadians who reported stress increased by 30 per cent compared to the year before, according to the CBC.
Where is all this stress coming from? The Stats Can study cited several sources, including not having enough time and financial concerns, but the big culprit causing trouble for working adults is work.
About 62 per cent of the highly stressed reported feeling taxed by their jobs, according to the study. These workers were generally well educated, had household incomes of $100, 000 or more a year in white-collar occupations, and a majority of them were male.
Women however, made up two-thirds of the highly-stressed workers who identified their families as the main source of stress, and had different demographics compared to the work stressed; they were more likely to have children at home, to have less than postsecondary education and to be immigrants who had settled in Canada within the 30 years before the survey.
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The study alludes to some uncomfortable socio-economic differences between men and women in Canada, but on a global scale, Canadian women are still better off than women in other countries, at least stress-wise. This year, Canada ranked 12th in a survey that ranked the world’s most stressed women, according to the Globe and Mail, which reported on the Women Of Tomorrow study conducted by Nielsen at the end of June.
Canada tied with Japan and Australia, with all three countries reporting at least 52 per cent of women being stressed.
“Women across the globe are achieving higher levels of education, joining the work force in greater numbers and contributing more to the household income,” Susan Whiting, vice chair of Nielsen, said in a release. "But at the same time, this level of empowerment results in added stress."
That stress can be a destructive cycle, according to Dr. Michelle Callahan, psychologist and blogger for The Huffington Post.
“The stress at work causes stress at home, and then the stress of neglecting home affects the person's work performance and further increases their stress at work,” she writes.
There are ways to deal with work stress and not let it interfere with your family life. Check out Dr. Callahan’s seven tips for managing the work-life stress cycle.