A recent American Psychiatric Association (APA) poll found that inflation anxiety reached an all-time high. According to the findings, about 90% of United States residents reported feeling anxious or highly anxious about inflation. That represents an increase of eight percentage points from May 2022.
In addition to inflation anxiety, the poll found that more than half (51%) of Americans feel concerned about losing income. Groups that reported worrying the most about potential income loss included Hispanic adults (66%), mothers (65%), millennials (63%), and Gen Zers (62%).
“The economy seems to have supplanted COVID as a major factor in Americans’ day-to-day anxiety,” APA President Rebecca Brendel, MD, J.D., said in a news release.
Morning Consult conducted the poll between June 18 and 20, 2022, and surveyed 2,210 adults.
One positive finding from the poll was that fewer Americans felt anxious about the pandemic. The survey showed that COVID-related anxiety decreased from 49% to 47% among all Americans since May. In addition, pandemic worries declined among Black Americans by 16% during that timeframe.
Concerns about money and inflation have replaced COVID as Americans struggle to make ends meet. Another July 2022 survey revealed that many Americans have cut back on spending to pay bills. According to a U.S. News & World Reports survey, about 81% of Americans have adjusted their budgets due to inflation.
Americans Have Found Creative Ways to Fight Inflation
While declining gas prices have slightly eased the pain of inflation, food and energy prices remain high. The national survey revealed a few ways consumers have managed to combat rising costs. Some respondents said electronic coupons helped with sticker shock at grocery stores.
According to the survey:
- More than half of Americans (58%) search for coupons at least once weekly.
- Three in four Americans (76%) have looked for digital coupons while grocery shopping.
- Half of Americans (51%) follow couponing social media and blog accounts. 87% reported using advice from those accounts to save money.
- 25% use digital coupons at least once a month.
- 54% of Americans said they used gas-price comparison apps to find the cheapest gas prices near them.
“Our latest survey makes it clear Americans are flocking to digital coupons and similar digital money-saving tools because of inflation’s impact to their wallets,” said Alexandra Kelly, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report’s 360 Deals, in a press statement.
Despite finding ways to cope with rising costs, financial stress has become a heavy burden for many. With inflation at a 40-year high, most Americans worry about an uncertain economic future.
“Stress is not good for health, mental or physical. So, while it’s a reality that Americans are faced with finding ways of making ends meet, it’s more important than ever to make sure that we are all accessing the care that we need,” said Brendel in an interview with Medscape Medical News.
Other Tips on Dealing With Inflation Anxiety
Scouring the internet for coupons can provide control over the economy and keep more money in your wallet. However, that doesn’t address the emotional toll of living in such turbulent economic and political times. Hopefully, the tips below can take some weight off your shoulders and help put things into perspective.
- Ask friends and family for support. If you feel overwhelmed about the state of the world, lean on your loved ones for comfort. We can’t expect to carry the world on our shoulders, so don’t feel ashamed to ask for help.
Sadly, the APA survey found that Gen Zers felt the least comfortable talking openly about their feelings. Only 29% said they would turn to loved ones for support about financial stress. Also, they’re less likely than millennials to speak to a therapist about their feelings (28% vs. 38%).
“While many people show resilience, it’s troubling that most Americans wouldn’t speak openly about their feelings after a traumatic event,” APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, MD, said in the news release.
“In many ways, naming feelings is the most important step toward healing, and this reluctance to air our thoughts may indicate that mental health stigma is still a powerful force in our society,” Levin said.
- Practice self-care. Thankfully, many Americans (42%) said they engaged in some form of self-care to cope with inflation anxiety. Meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, a warm bath, or even cooking your favorite meal all constitute self-care. Sometimes, we have to tune out the world, put our phones on silent, and make ourselves the priority. Remember, self-care doesn’t make you selfish — it makes you human!
- Speak to a mental health professional. Always remember that you don’t have to solve every problem yourself. We didn’t come into this world alone, so we shouldn’t expect to carry all its burdens. No man is an island, after all — we need each other for support and basic survival. A therapist or psychologist can listen and offer helpful advice when you need it the most.
Final Thoughts on How to Cope with Inflation Anxiety
When the inflation rate skyrocketed, many people had the rug pulled out from under them. Most young adults have never experienced such severe inflation and understandably felt anxious about rising prices. An APA survey found that 90% of Americans feel stressed about the economy. Hispanic adults, mothers, and younger generations worry the most about income loss.
While the financial outlook may seem grim, remember that you have some control over the situation. Utilizing coupons when available, cooking at home more, and taking advantage of government aid programs can help ease the burden of inflation. Also, don’t hesitate to seek emotional support from loved ones, therapists, and even your pets!
Take one day at a time, and focus only on what you can change. Keep yourself rooted in the present moment and take a deep breath. The world may seem scary at the moment, but always remember that it’s just one chapter in the story. It isn’t the whole journey, so keep your head up!