Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't worry be happy

Aviel Yelinek

Many people experience stress or worry at some point in their lives. At times this is a natural reaction of the body as it prepares itself to be tested or to face important events, but in many cases it is a matter of significant emotional overload that could continue for a long time and undermine quality or life or even day-to-day functionality.

The 2010 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics questioned individuals aged 20 and above about the stress and worry they feel in the course of their daily lives. The questions focused on the feelings of the respondents during the 12 months preceding the survey.

The data reveal that 19% of Jerusalemites frequently felt stressed. This was lower than the figure for Israel (24%), Tel Aviv (26%), and Haifa (35%). A particularly striking statistic is the percentage of Jerusalemites who felt no stress: 39%. This was significantly higher than the figure for Israel (23%), Haifa (21%), and Tel Aviv (15%). Assessment by gender reveals that women tend to feel stress more than men. Among women in Israel, 29% reported that they frequently felt stressed, compared to 19% of men. Likewise, 19% of women reported that they did not feel any stress, compared to 28% of men.

Another interesting question focused on the effect of worry on quality of sleep. The percentage of Jerusalemites who reported that worries frequently disturbed their sleep stood at 11%. This was lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (14%), Israel (15%), and Haifa (20%). Likewise, the percentage of Jerusalemites who reported no sleep disturbances due to worries was 46%, which is higher than the figure for Haifa (41%), Israel (40%), and Tel Aviv (37%). Interestingly, the percentage of women in Israel who reported that worries frequently disturb their sleep measured 17%, which is higher than the figure for men (11%). Accordingly, the percentage of women who reported that their sleep was never disrupted by worries stood at 33%, which lower than the figure for men (48%).



Source: Analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics data