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The Exchange

Best Of 2014 - Stressed Out: Who, Why, And How

Marsmettnn Tallahassee

This week, The Exchange will play the five best shows of 2014, as voted by you. Here's a July program on stress: From major challenges like chronic illness or financial problems to minor annoyances like traffic jams or inconsiderate neighbors, stress affects us all.  For some, it can be overwhelming, while others find ways to cope and even use it to their advantage. In connection with the NPR series on this topic, we’re exploring the latest thinking on stress.

This program was originally broadcast on July 17, 2014.


  • Greg Fricchione – associate chief of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also directs the division of psychiatry and medicine, and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.
  • Barry Litt – marriage and family therapist at Human Dynamics Associates in Concord.
  • Nicole Sawyer – clinical psychologist in Exeter, NH. She is the consulting psychologist for the NH State Police in addition to treating individuals in her private practice, including combat veterans, first responders, adult survivors of trauma.


  • NPR's two-week series, 'Stressed out': "Our questions zeroed in on the effect of stress in Americans' lives. We asked about people's personal experiences with stress in the preceding month and year. We also asked about how they perceived the effects of stress, how they cope with stress and their attitudes about it."
  • The survey conducted as part of NPR's series: "People in poor health are more than twice as likely as the public as a whole to report a great deal of stress in the past month (60%). People who are disabled are also much more likely to report a great deal of stress (45%). Other groups likely to report a great deal of stress include those with a chronic illness (36%), those with low incomes (<$20K) (36%), those who face potentially dangerous situations in their jobs (36%), single parents (35%), and parents of teens (34%)."
  • A TED talk from Kelly McGonigal about the possible upsides of stress: "But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case."

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