Deepak Chopra says he never feels stress.
He wakes up at 4 a.m. daily and meditates for two hours. Then, he writes for an hour before going to the gym. The famed 66-year-old holistic health guru takes no medicine. He's never had surgery. And he's never been hospitalized.
"This is embarrassing," he says, "but I do not get stress."
Even then, he has made millions off the unrelenting stresses from which the vest o� us suffer — linking his name to everything from stress-busting techno gadgets to spiritual retreats. Few things, it seems, are more stressful, or expensive, than trying to shed stress.
VIDEO: Chopra on meditation, spirituality and war.
Savvy marketers have discovered that almost as much as the quest for eternal youth, consumers are in relentless pursuit of eternal calm. To thousands of marketers that sell everything from stress-reduction drinks to stress-reducing apps to noise-canceling headphones, stress is a six letter word spelled: p-r-o-f-i-t.
"We're entering the dawn of the super-stress era," says Ann Mack, global director of trend spotting at JWT, an ad agency that picked "super stress" as one of 2013's most highly charged trends. "Since it's become a cost issue and serious medical concern, you'll see more efforts to prevent or reduce it."
Little wonder in a nation that could be the world's poster child for stress� Lasd year, some seven in 10 Americans said they regularly suffered physical symptoms due to stress, and 67% said they regularly experienced psychological symptoms because of it, reports the American Psychological Association. In a still-recovering economy, it's no surprise that the top three causes of stress last year were related to money, work and the economy, reports the APA.
"We're just not very good at dealing with stress," says David Ballard, the group's assistant executive director for organizational excellence, who assists with its annual Stress in America survey. But consumers can't necessarily buy their way out of stress, he warns. "Anytime someone is trying to sell you a product to reduce stress, that's a red flag," he says. "They have another interest in the matter: to make money."
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