Sun Editorial: Apparently New Jersey is filled with people who are filled with stress

So, fine. Call us the most stressed state in the union. We’ve been called much worse, and we’re still standing.

By Alan Bauer

Before reading this, you should sit down, take a deep breath and maybe do a bit of meditation. Actually, according to a recent study, you should do those things even if you aren’t going to read this, and do them often.

Zippia, a career advice site, recently named New Jersey the most stressed state in the union. Looking at the criteria, we can see how it came to this conclusion.

Zippia considered the following criteria in ranking the states: long commute time, unemployment, hours worked, population density, home price to income ratio and the percentage of the population that doesn’t have health insurance.

So, according to the study, if you live in New Jersey, and are lucky enough to have a job, it’s going to take you a long time to get there. And when you get there, you’re going to be working long hours, and possibly not have health insurance. Then you make another long drive home to a house you can’t really afford in the sardine-can of a neighborhood you live in.

Well, ummm, OK then.

If you look only at the categories the study considered, we can see how one might think New Jersey residents would all be on edge all the time.

But that’s not the whole story. First, we’re New Jerseyans. We don’t mind hard work, for example. And we adapt to our conditions. Long hours on the job, for example, make those weekends down the Shore that much more enjoyable.

Second, the state has a lot of stress-reducers built in. Sure, some of us blow off steam by taking it out on fellow drivers during those long commutes, but most of us find more productive ways, such as trips to the aforementioned Shore or our many parks or by attending a concert or play.

So, fine. Call us the most stressed state in the union. We’ve been called much worse, and we’re still standing.

Now please excuse us. After reading the study, we’re stressed and leaving work early today.

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