Farming often is listed as one of the most stressful occupations, yet most farmers say they wouldn't trade it for any other job. Stress is normal and can be healthy as it might push us to do things that can promote growth. But, too much acute stress or piled up chronic stress can result in serious physical and emotional problems.
Even under similar circumstances, farm operators vary in the amount of stress they experience. Some people may have many negative stressors, but experience low levels of stress because they have developed effective ways to cope. For other farm men and women,however, pressures may exceed their coping resources and they may show signs of chronic stress. Stress can show itself in physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomach problems, or in emotional symptoms, such as angry outbursts or depression. Behavior changes, like increased smoking, drinking or drug use, also can be a reaction to stress.
Stress that is not managed well can play havoc with the farm family and the farm operation. When stress levels get too high, farmers are more likely to make poor farming decisions and be involved in farm injuries. Relationships between spouses and between parents and children also suffer during stressful times.
The information below can be helpful in identifying stressors, managing rural stress, identifying coping strategies and building a strong farm resource network.
Should I Be Feeling This Way? - KS Wheat
Managing Farm Stress
Stress Management for Couples (NDSU Extension)
Stress Management for Farmers and Ranchers (NDSU Extension)