"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."

—Muriel Rukeyser

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curiouser & curiouser Podcast: Stressed In The U.S. With Dr. Meg Van Deusen



 Listen to the episode here!

I loved getting to speak with licensed clinical psychologist and author Dr. Meg Van Deusen for this podcast episode. I read Meg’s book — Stressed in the U.S.: Twelve Tools to Tackle Anxiety, Loneliness, Tech-Addiction and More — recently, and boy was it timely given the current state of our nation and our world! I was so glad to get to chat with Meg to dig a bit more into some of the themes of her book and share them with you here in this conversational format.  

Obviously, stress and anxiety are nothing new to our culture, but during her years treating patients Meg realized there were some themes she was seeing again and again. She wanted to dig more into those themes and issues, and the result is this book.

She gives some helpful context as to WHY we as a nation might be experiencing so many of these issues, and also shares some things we can do to reduce them in our own lives. That’s one of the most important things about the book: you’ll be left with practical tips you can incorporate right away to help you feel more grounded. She shared many of those tips during our conversation for this podcast as well, so listen up! (If you want to dig deeper into this topic after listening to this episode, be sure to grab a copy of Meg’s book as well!)

Stressed in the US Book Cover

Stressed in the US: Twelve Tools to Tackle Anxiety, Loneliness, Tech-Addiction and More

Stressed in the US addresses the relevant cultural phenomena that are contributing to stress in the US since the turn of the millennium, such as tech addiction, loneliness and anxiety. Meg Van Deusen talks about what we can do to mitigate this pervasive problem.

“In this compelling book, Meg Van Deusen delivers on her promise of sharing effective navigational tools to help us make our way safely across the troubled waters of our times.”

 Dr. Vincent Atchity, President and CEO, Mental Health Colorado

About the Book

Stressed in the US Book Cover


Seventy-five percent of Americans are moderately stressed. Seventy-five percent of Americans are lonely. More than 33 percent of us sleep less than six hours a night. In addition, 77 percent of us use social media daily and 81 percent of us own a smartphone. Why are these statistics important? Because loneliness, sleep-deprivation, social media use, tech use, and even gut-imbalance—which the Huffington Post refers to as “the modern plague”—are all causes and results of stress. Stress is the reason for at least 75 percent of today’s doctor’s visits, costing the US billions per year in employee absenteeism, accidents, and illnesses. 

9/11, climate change, a historic economic crisis, numerous mass shootings, an inordinate amount of school lockdowns, a foreign attack on our election, a politically divided country, tech-induced anxiety and addiction, and information overload: since 2000, these unique-to-our-time phenomena have created a petri dish of stress in the US, causing a host of emotional and physical ailments.

Here’s the problem: while the well-researched, psychological theory on attachment tells us that secure attachments to each other and to our nation create resilience to stress, our current American culture is creating barriers, not pathways, to human trust and closeness. Stressed in the US: Twelve Tools to Tackle Anxiety, Loneliness, Tech-Addiction and More investigates current, cultural phenomena that are causing a convergence of increased stress with decreased interpersonal connection from an attachment theory perspective.

Dr. Van Deusen explains why and how our relationships are breaking down at a time when we need them the most. The good news? As a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and mindfulness practitioner, she offers insights and solutions to a complex, pervasive problem.

• Restorative practices protect us
• Nature calms us
• Mindfulness connects us 

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