In a recent online survey, Wyoming ranked among the top ten least stressed states in America. The article listed a number of things that could cause stress, from unemployment to population density, but local counselors are saying there's more to it than what was studied.
Crystal Balerio, Central Wyoming Counseling Center counselor says, "saying that Wyoming is the least stressful state in the United States is very shocking actually because we are one of the highest ranked in suicide rates."
Counselors disagree with the survey because it's based on factors like unemployment ratings and health insurance policies and there are other things that come into play they say were left out of the study.
Paul Demple, Central Wyoming Counseling Center clinical director says, "obviously towards the top of the list is death of a child, death of a spouse, through divorces, getting a mortgage, even winning the lottery."
Weather is important when determing the stress level of an entire state and counselors say living in Wyoming can sometimes be tough to handle in that regard.
Balerio says, "it could go from extremely windy to snowing, to being sunny to being rainy. And with all of that, it's hard for us to cope with that."
The survey notes population density as a main contributing factor when comparing the stress level of one state with another, but counselors say that's like comparing apples to oranges.
Demple says, "to say that somebody that lives in New York necessarily is, by default, more stressed than somebody who lives in Casper just wouldn't be accurate."
And to really find out what's causing stress in any group of people, population sampling would be more effective.
"Actually go and measure within the population things that are stressful, you know, to those individuals and then rank it that way."
Demple says there's no way to avoid feeling stressed throughout the day, but learning how to manage stressful situations is key.
"N do things to relieve stress such as using alcohol or drugs or those kind of things, but try to deal with them in a healthy way."
Counselors say if stress is something that overwhelms you throughout the day, seek immediate help before it can cause health-related issues.
You can find more tips at http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/tips-to-control-stress