The average brit is stressed for 5-and-a-half years of their life
The average adult feels stressed for five-and-a-half years of their life, a study has found.
Running late, traffic jams and health problems mean Brits spend two hours and 11 minutes of every day feeling stressed – a total of more than 15 hours a week.
That amounts to 33 days of each year or five years and six months over the average adult lifetime.
Sixty-three per cent of people even claim to have had days where they have felt stressed from the moment they woke up until they go to sleep at the end of the day.
Money, overbearing workloads and relationship problems are among the things most likely to cause us stress, followed by birthdays and Christmas and having to deal with the in-laws.
It also emerged we are most stressed at the age of 36, with some so badly affected by it, it has led to sleepless nights and even a health problem.
Alison Cullen, a spokesman for A.Vogel (www.avogel.co.uk) which commissioned the research to look at the impact of stress on immunity said: “Ongoing stress causes the body to put everything on hold except immediate survival.
“Areas such as fertility, detoxing, and immune cells patrolling to check for infections are neglected.
“The result is more cold and flu infections, which in turn cause more stress.
“Many people neglect their health because their schedules are so pressurised; ironically, though, spending a little time on your health can save spending a lot of time being ill.”
The study of 2,000 adults found being late for something and running out of time are most likely to cause us stress, followed by getting stuck in traffic and health issues for yourself or family members.
Meeting deadlines, not being able to afford things, weight gain, cold calls and debt complete the top ten.
Other common causes of stress include queuing for a long time, computer problems, arguments with a partner and automated phone systems.
Road works, moving house, self-service checkouts and dogs barking are also among the top 50 causes of stress.
Unfortunately, for 81 per cent of people, stress has been so bad that they have lost sleep; an average of five nights in the past month.
It also emerged that 62 per cent of people have been so stressed it has affected their health, resulting in 31 per cent of people taking time off work.
More than one in ten have been signed off for a short period of time, whilst another one in ten have been signed off long-term.
And one in four have even quit a job because they found it too stressful.
Sixty-seven per cent of people even believe their body reacts physically to stress, causing them to suffer more headaches, stomach discomfort, colds, skin flare ups and sore throats.
Three in ten have also fallen ill due to stress, with another 15 per cent saying it has made an existing health complaint worse.
Researchers found stress has caused 31 per cent of people to make a mistake at work while another 45 per cent say it has led to arguments with a partner.
Others have cancelled a night out with friends, shouted at or told off their children more than usual, and gone off sex.
Dr Margaret Ritchie, Associate Lecturer: University of the West of Scotland said: ‘When our bodies experience stress, especially ongoing stress which the survey highlights, it affects the biochemistry and simply put, causes inflammation that impacts on our immunity resulting in our body being more susceptible to flu and colds as winter settles in.”
“I recommend taking A.Vogel Echinaforce based on my research study which shows that it supports the immune system and enhances the immune response only when needed.
“It also reduces inflammation in the body and has very potent anti-viral activity, particularly when fresh extract is used.
“In fact, the effect might be equivalent to or better than other commonly used over the counter treatments.”
Psychologist, Dr Megan Arroll added: “As well as an increased risk of ill health, stress creates a burden on the NHS, as costs to treat stress-related illness now exceeds over £2 billion.”
“Stress can be a result of overburdening ourselves so don’t feel you need to do everything, all the time – prioritise yourself as it’s impossible to care for others if you’re burnt out.
“We are often better at showing understanding and compassion to pretty much anyone else but ourselves so practise being kind to you.
“This means saying no, having some rest time and perhaps most importantly, not berating ourselves for trivial matters. We all have an inner critic but this voice can be dampened by self-compassion.”
Top 10 causes of stress:
1. Being late
2. Running out of time
3. Getting stuck in traffic
4. Health issues
5. A family member’s health issues
6. Meeting deadlines
7. Not being able to afford things
8. Putting on weight
9. Cold calls
10. Being in debt