Americans Have Become Accustomed To Instability



The feeling you feel when you’re worried has become such a default setting that it doesn’t even affect you anymore.You’ve adjusted too well to chaos and instability.

The Financial Times reported an interesting finding from an American Psychological Association survey: 22% of Americans described themselves as  “very stressed,” a slight decrease from the previous year and much better than 2007 when 32% described themselves in the same way. The mean stress level has also dropped from 6.2% to 5.2% between 2007 and now.

So what’s the problem here? Yes, it’s great that stress levels are dropping, but, ironically, U.S. unemployment levels are much higher now — well above 9% — than they were in 2007. The conclusion here is that Americans are getting accustomed to stress.

After many years of economic distress, people are getting used to instability and the headache isn’t causing such a headache anymore. The FT reports:

But, while this new mood of cynicism has some debilitating consequences, it also has an advantage: when people have already lost their innocence – or faith – they are less prone to being shocked. Five years of watching “black swan” type events, bad government policies and bizarre economic twists might have made shocks less unsettling. People are slowly adapting to a more unstable world.

Read the rest of the article at Financial Times.