Reducing Stress: Simple Tips for Black Americans

A report from CBS News indicates that 2015 was a stressful year for many Americans. According to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, average stress levels in the U.S. rose from 4.9 in 2014 to 5.1 on a 10-point stress scale. What’s more, there’s been a particular increase in the number of adults who experience “extreme stress,” with 24 percent reporting they were highly stressed last year, compared with 18 percent the year before.

The survey found that three in 10 Hispanic and black adults who report experiencing discrimination at least once a week say that they feel the need to be very careful about their appearance to get good service or avoid harassment.

Other significant contributors to stress include money, work, family responsibilities, health concerns and the economy.

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Black people know all too well that the wrong hairstyle may mean you are perceived as hostile in the workplace. We put up with the mess because our financial status is poor. Jay Harold has a post, “Black Household Incomes Below National Average,” that uses Census data to show how bad it is for African Americans today.

African American median household income for 2013 was $34,560 according to 2013 U.S. Census data. Let that number soak in for a moment! The overall U.S. average for all American families is $53,046!

We never recovered from the Bush Tax Cuts, which were signed into law On June 7, 2001, by President George W. Bush. Here’s some data that make should make you uncomfortable:

  • The middle 20 percent of wage earners (making between $40,000 and $70,000) received less than 11 percent of the total Bush -era tax cuts.
  • The bottom 20 percent (making less than $20,000) received only a 1 percent share of the Bush tax cuts; 75 percent of these low-income families saw no tax benefit at all.


The “Makers and Takers3 ” augment was beyond bogus for Black Americans. Some people even make a point that Donald Trump is a by-product of the false claim4  that the 47 percent of adults in the U.S. who owed no federal income tax were, therefore “dependent upon government” and “who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them….”

Do they mean that the rich people like Donald Trump who (allegedly) pay zero federal income tax are dependent upon government, too?

Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues,” applies to most Americans and Black Americans particularly. The uncertainty of a new president after the first Black president is palpable.

Here’s some information from the CDC to help you cope with stress.

How to manage stress after a traumatic event (Job Loss, Living in General)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following information to help individuals cope with stress.

Strong emotions like fear, sadness, or other symptoms of depression are normal, as long as they are temporary and don’t interfere with daily activities. If these emotions last too long or cause other problems, it’s a different story.

Sometimes stress can be good. It can help you develop skills needed to manage potentially threatening situations. Stress can be harmful, however, when it is prolonged or severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control.

Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that cause you to feel threatened or anxious. Stress can be related to positive events (such as planning your wedding) or negative events (such as dealing with the effects of a natural disaster).

Symptoms of Stress

Common reactions to a stressful event include

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Tension and irritability
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling numb
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nightmares and recurring thoughts about the event
    Reducing Stress: Simple Tips for Black Americans

    Sadness and other symptoms of depression are signs of stress.

  • Anger
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
  • Sadness and other symptoms of depression
  • Feeling powerless
  • Crying
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems
  • Trouble concentrating

Tips for Self-Care

The best ways to manage stress in hard times are through self-care.

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. They may seem to be a temporary fix to feel better, but in the long run drugs and alcohol can create more problems and add to your stress—instead of taking it away.
  • Find support. Seek help from a partner, family member, friend, counselor, doctor, or clergyperson. Having someone with a sympathetic, listening ear and sharing about your problems and stress really can lighten the burden.
  • Connect socially. After a stressful event, it is easy to isolate yourself. Make sure that you are spending time with loved ones. Consider planning fun activities with your partner, children, or friends.
  • Take care of yourself.
    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
    • Exercise regularly
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out—for example, treat yourself to a therapeutic massage
    • Maintain a normal routine
  • Stay active. You can take your mind off your problems with activities like helping a neighbor, volunteering in the community, and taking the dog for a long walk. These can be positive ways to cope with stressful feelings.

There’s no money for many people to access the health care system for mental health specialists. These tips can become the screening tests for handling stress.

Click this link to get free Health and Wealth information to improve your life.  Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.  Questions?  “Ask the Pharmacist a Question!”  Jay Harold is always looking out for your health and wealth.



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