Russians have learnt to cope with stress

05 March 2024

Over the past two years, ROMIR has been recording a gradual decline in the share of Russians experiencing stress - from 57% in Q1 2022 to 39% in Q4 2023. Not only the number of our compatriots under stress is decreasing, but also the average level of anxiety. At the end of last year, stress intensity averaged 6.1 on a ten-point scale. At the beginning of 2022 this indicator was at the level of 6.4. Still among the most popular ways to combat stress Russians call walks in the fresh air, as well as increasingly important are tasty food in the company of friends. Over the year, the number of people seeking help from psychologists has increased one and a half times.

ROMIR regularly asks its respondents* whether they are currently experiencing stress. The dynamics of the last two years has shown that the number of our fellow citizens who are under stress is steadily decreasing. Thus, the maximum share of answers about increased anxiety was recorded in the first quarter of 2022 - 57%. A year later, the share of such responses fell to 47 per cent and continued to decline throughout 2023 to end in the fourth quarter with 39 per cent.

Chart 1: Shares of stressed and non-stressed Russians (%). Average stress level among anxious Russians. 

Data source: ROMIR, January 2024

Russians who experience stress were asked to assess its level on a ten-point scale. It turned out that in the fourth quarter of last year this indicator was equal to 6.1. A similar value of the general level of stress was also noted at the beginning of 2023. During 2022, the average stress levels ranged between 6.2 and 6.4 out of a possible ten points.

Traditionally, respondents who are stressed also answer the question about ways to cope with stress. As a year ago, the most popular way to get away from stress is walking - this was the answer given by 45% in the last decade of last year. Meetings with friends (37%) and tasty food (33%) are also in the top 3. Moreover, over the year the share of answers about the desire to socialise with friends has slightly decreased, while the share of answers about the desire to eat delicious food - on the contrary, has increased. 

More than a quarter (28%) of anxious Russians prefer to spend time with pets to relieve stress. 23% of respondents take vitamins, and another 22% take special medicines (sedatives and antidepressants). Moreover, the demand for these ways to combat stress has increased over the year. Proper nutrition and sports help to relieve stress for 21% and 18% of respondents respectively. But alcohol calms down 17% of stressed people. Shopping as a cure for stress is used by 14% of Russians. Every eighth person (12%) turns to psychologists, and the share of such answers has increased one and a half times over the year. 

"A person adapts to crisis or stressful situations on average within two to three months. Today we can already say that adaptation has taken place after the emotional outburst of two years ago. This is reflected not only in the decrease in the number of Russians under stress, but also in the return to the positive zone of the economic confidence index. And such patterns as going for walks, spending time with family and friends, and eating delicious food really help Russians cope with anxiety and stress," comments Inna Karaeva, executive director of ROMIR, on the results of the study.


The survey was conducted on the basis of ROMIR's Unified Data Panel. More than 4,300 Russians over the age of 18 took part in it using a nationally representative sample.

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