WEST VIRGINIA (WTRF) — Prolonged periods of stress can affect people not only physically but emotionally as well.

A recent study shows West Virginia is the nation’s most stressed state.

Using data from the United Health Foundation’s American Health Rankings, it found that the Mountain State residents have the highest rate of mental and physical distress.

Some contributing factors include a high unemployment rate and poor health statistics.

Healthcare experts suggest a number of ways to cope with stress.

Make sure you are reaching out to your family, to your friends. Maybe re-invest in the faith that you never had or have lost. Definitely reach out to your family practice doctor, your internal medicine doctor, some counselors or psychiatrist

-Dr. Jamie Evick – VP Medical Affairs, WVU Medicine

Medical experts say other ways of coping with stress include exercise, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy, well-balanced meals, and especially avoiding alcohol or substance use.