In its December 22 - December 29, 2017 print issue, The Week sums up the odd mixture of trends, events, and cultural phenomena of the last year as seen through a potpourri of polls. Here are some of the findings:

  • 59% of Americans say we're at the lowest point in our country's history that they can remember. (American Psychological Association)
  • 63% say concerns about the nation's future are a major source of stress in their lives. (American Psychological Association)
  • 70% say the nation's political divide is at least as big as during the Vietnam war. (Washington Post/University of Maryland)
  • 39% think this lack of unity is the new normal. (Washington Post/University of Maryland)
  • 79% think that if the Founding Fathers were alive today, they'd be disappointed with the U.S. (Fox News)
  • 73% are concerned that North Korea will launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. or its allies. (Investor's Business Daily/TIPP)
  • 76% are worried the U.S. will become involved in a major war in the next three years. (NBC News/Survey Monkey)
  • 38% are less likely to attend events that draw large crowds because of their fear of terrorism. (Gallup)
  • 46% are afraid to travel overseas for the same reason. (Gallup)

Here are some of the ways Americans seek to relax:

  • 55% snack two to three times a day and 24% admit they reach for the cookies when they need to de-stress. (Mintel)
  • 73% engage in epic binge-watching sessions, staying glued to the screen for three hours or more. (Deloitte)

Our modest suggestion: Use spiritual practices to deal with difficult times and your fears.

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