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Stress study says Los Angeles levels are 'unhealthy'

Doesn't this picture taken in Malibu look serene? Soak it up, Angelenos.
Doesn't this picture taken in Malibu look serene? Soak it up, Angelenos.
Nic Adler via Flickr Creative Commons

We can't stress this enough, Los Angeles. Chill. 

According to a new American Psychological Association study, "Stress in America," 43 percent of LA residents are living with an unhealthy level of stress. 

The report shows the top offending stressors for Angelenos are:   

Local residents reported an average stress level of 5.3 on a 10-point scale. The APA puts a healthy stress level at 3.9.

Forty-eight percent of LA residents, however, feel they do an "excellent" or "very good" job of identifying when they're feeling stressed.

And, of those who attempted to make lifestyle changes, a greater number reported success in eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight in Los Angeles, compared to the rest of the country.

Approximately four in 10 people (42 percent, compared to 37 percent nationally) said that stress has a "strong" or "very strong" impact on their bodies or physical health.

Caregivers to aged or chronically ill family members reported higher stress levels, poorer health and a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, the APA reported.

"While many Los Angeles residents recognize the impact that stress has on the body, the numbers who are stressed about money, work and the economy continues to be cause for concern," said Dr. Michael Ritz, a Los Angeles-area psychologist who serves as the public education coordinator for the California Psychological Association.

"And more than four out of 10 Los Angeles residents have seen their stress increase in the past five years. It's important people pay attention to signs of stress, because stress can affect your physical and emotional health, especially if not managed properly."

According to the APA, "lack of willpower" and "lack of time" are the most common barriers to change. 

How do you cope with stress? What are your best tricks for keeping stress levels low?