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Britons buckle under modern life

Date 5 Oct 2007
Author The Editor

British people are buckling under the strain of modern life. One in ten people describe themselves as constantly at boiling point while a fifth start feeling stressed before breakfast. A poll for the Relaxation for Living Institute found British people spend a total of five and a half years of their adult life feeling strung out and tense.

Just over half of the population struggles to sleep at night, while one in two have headaches or migraines, 23% have digestive problems and 17% suffer panic attacks. Two thirds of people admit they now regularly feel at the end of their tether and unable to cope, and 12% said they constantly feel at boiling point. Almost half, 42%, said they spend at least an eighth of the day feeling stressed out and on average, people are anxious for more than two hours a day.

The survey found that the biggest strain on people was money worries and financial uncertainty, followed by work pressures and relationships. Another major cause of stress was the pressure to look good and people's self-image, with 45% of women and 24% of men citing it as a cause of anxiety.

People appear not to know where to turn when they feel stressed, with just under 30% admitting they resort to alcohol and the same number using coffee as a crutch.

GP Roger Schofield said: "It's no good us doctors telling patients to go home and relax because most people don't know how to. Sticking on a pan-pipes CD probably won't have the necessary effect. Learning how to manage the physical effects of stress through exercise and breathing is one of the keys to coping and feeling better every day."

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  2. executive stress

    Alan Ross 8:25 5 Oct 2007

    Roger Schofield is correct - people don't know how to relax, especially at work.

    Yet a relaxed environment is where productive work is done! Cicero said "Only the man who learns to relax is able to create, and for him ideas reach the mind like lightening"

    A modern coach, Nancy Kline says "Ease creates, urgency destroys"

    At ARK Associates we help executives with tlc - thinking, listening, communicating - in a relaxed, focused environment.

    Alan Ross 07774 413482

  3. Modern Living?

    Tony Spence 9:37 5 Oct 2007

    This I thinks goes to prove how society as become consumed with image. How do I look, what will people think and how big is my house. No wonder it is hard to relax, with massive mortgages, huge credit cards bills and over weight bodies, all for the sake of what others think! Relaxation comes, I think from being content with your life in general, this is difficult if you are striving to keep up with others. This is nothing new but now we have a 24 hour media telling us how others are doing making us feel bad about ourselves.

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