Yes, modern life in America is … a lot. Psychologists say they’ve seen the toll it’s taken on people, and surprisingly so has Barnes & Noble.
Sales of books related to anxiety rose 26 percent in June from a year ago at the bookseller. Liz Harwell, its senior director of merchandising, said the company had never seen a comparable increase in book sales related to anxiety. Shoppers were particularly drawn to workbooks and tool-kits on how to deal with anxiety, she said, suggesting “we may be living in an anxious nation.”
“But the good news,” Harwell said, “is that book buyers across the country are also looking for solutions to their stress.”
In December 2017, Gallup reported that 79 percent of Americans felt stress sometimes or frequently during their day. Only 17 percent said they rarely felt stressed, with 4 percent saying they never did.
Psychologists pointed to today’s political and cultural climate as a driver of Americans’ stress and anxiety. Plus, there are the technological factors that bring those issues to the fore. A February 2017 report by the American Psychological Association examined technology and social media and their links to stress and overall well-being. The report found that nearly one-fifth of Americans pointed to the use of technology “as a very or somewhat significant source of stress.”
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