Blog

Stress: by the numbers

Stress: by the numbers

The Apollo Neuro team talked to over 1000 people about how stress impacted their past year, and a few things struck us.聽

The not-so spoiler alert? It鈥檚 an objectively stressful time foreveryone. This is no secret, and will surprise 0% of you (that part鈥檚 just a guess). Let鈥檚 dig deeper to understand how unprecedented stressors have been impacting us and how we can become increasingly resilient to change.

We recently conducted a national survey of over 1000 people for a deep dive into mental health, stress, and sleep habits. Here鈥檚 what we learned.聽

Stress had a heavy hand

We are more stressed than ever before, and our physical health is showing the cracks. The long term effects of chronic stress are serious. Chronic stress strains the whole body by over-activating our sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response), releasing stress hormones like cortisol, making our breathing shallow and fast, and sending our heart rates up and ourHRV(Heart Rate Variability) down. The best way to tackle chronic stress is by adopting stress management techniques in the here and now.

Stress is not equal to sleep

Counting sheep wasn't enough

When we鈥檙e sleeping, we鈥檙e entering a really deep recovery state where our awareness of our physical surroundings is significantly reduced. We鈥檙e least aware of our environment around us and most vulnerable to threat during sleep. This requires our rest-and-digest, or parasympathetic activity to increase, and our fight-or-flight, or sympathetic activity, to drastically decrease. In simple terms, if you鈥檙e stressing, you鈥檙e not sleeping. Or not sleeping well.聽聽聽

Stress is at an all-time high, and mental health at an all-time low. The desire to get better is there, yet the action to seek out sustainable solutions is all-time low. We can鈥檛 control when and where stressors reveal themselves. But we can control how we meet the stressors. Who do you want to be in the face of stress?

Treat mental health

turn optimism into action

Now is a ripe time to de-stigmatize the mental health help we need for the collective suffering we face. Stress sucks. The disparity between those admitting to poor mental health and those seeking professional help is gaping. The intent to take steps to get better is here, but the action isn鈥檛 being taken. When intention and action don鈥檛 line up, we鈥檙e left defeated and it鈥檚 an incredibly disempowering cycle. We need to empower one another and lift one another up to find tools to get better.

TLDR: We鈥檙e mega stressed, and we know it. Despite the writing on the wall that the path of destruction is showing no signs of stopping, most of us aren鈥檛 doing anything about it. Let鈥檚 rise up collectively to destigmatize the discussion around mental health and start taking proactive steps to take control.