Work/life balance not going to plan Women aged between 24 and 34 are the most stressed people in BritainPressure of young families and climbing the career ladder to blame
67 per cent of us suffer from stress every week
The average Brit gets stressed 208 times a year
13:01 GMT, 5 November 2012
Women aged between 25 and 34 are more stressed than anyone else in Britain, a new study has found.
At that age, women are typically climbing the career ladder at work, caring for demanding young children at home and paying a mortgage.
All these pressures mount up as they struggle to overcome the strains of busy work, family and social lives, experts say.
Anguish: Women between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most stressed people in Britain
Nationally, two in three of us, 67 per cent, suffer from stress every week, the study by herbal stress remedy brand Kalms found. And over a year the average Brit gets stressed 208 times.
Managing bills and finances in tough economic times, and struggling to fit everything into a day are the biggest causes.
Women typically suffer more bouts of anxiety than men – feeling anxious more than five times each week – and also find it harder to cope with.
Men feel the strain four times each week, with the pressure passing more swiftly than women.
But women – who often shoulder the greater burden of raising children – feel anxious five times a week.
Tough: Actresses Miley Cyrus (left) and Christina Ricci (right) have both admitted to suffering from stress
A quarter of women say they are over-burdened eight or more times each week – meaning they struggle to cope every single day.
The causes of stress are often similar for both sexes, the study of 2,000 adults found.
Four in ten Brits (39 per cent) worry they will not be able to pay their bills and 30 per cent worry about squeezing all their chores into a busy schedule.
One in five (22 per cent) are anxious about maintaining a healthy work/life balance, and 12 per cent making key decisions about their kids' future.
But notably, women are much more likely to stress about household chores and relationships.
Men fret more about working long hours, getting stuck in traffic, and being a passenger in a car while their partner is driving.
During times of intense stress, 43 per cent of women lose sleep, a needy 41 per cent 'comfort eat' and 21 per cent drink more alcohol.
Stress leaves many women feeling 'irritable', 'tense' and 'tired', the study found. Others report suffering from headaches or increased heartrate.
STRESS: THE SYMPTOMS IN WOMEN
Loss of sleep
Indulgence in comfort food and treats
Arguments with loved ones
Taking up smoking or smoking to excess
FIVE QUICK WAYS TO BEAT IT
Get a good night's sleep
Eat healthy foods
Read some escapist fiction
Chat to a friend
Men who are feeling the strain are more likely than women to start smoking or to smoke more. And a quarter, 25 per cent, turn to their favourite tipple to help get them through times of trouble.
Others argue with loved ones, forget to eat or take time off work to help them recover.
Personal assistant Jane Hughes, 32, said the pressures of modern life leave her feeling stressed every single day.
The mum of two, from Birmingham, said: 'Balancing the demands of my work and family lives is really tough and there's little room for a social life.
'I have to sacrifice sleep in order to get everything done, which leaves me feeling incredibly irritable each morning.
'A day does not pass without me feeling stressed. Unfortunately I do comfort eat to try to make me feel better but I then get more stressed about putting on weight.'
Neil Shah, Director of the Stress Management Society, said: 'Women between the ages of 25 and 34 appear to be the most stressed.
'At this age they are struggling to keep up with an 'ideal lifestyle' and struggling to fit more and more into their lives.
Solution: Spending time with friends can help to alleviate stress
'Juggling a career, personal finances, relationships, family and home life not only contributes to stress but can make it difficult to find time to deal with the causes.'
He added: 'Men and women stress about different things. Women worry more about bills and finances, and juggling their time, but men are more concerned about working long hours and debt.
'It is also important to bear in mind men and women have very different strategies to cope with stress.
'The fact they are worrying about different things could become a source of tension within relationships.
'People should find ways to relax and regain control. Exercise and a healthy diet can help to manage these periods of elevated stress and anxiety. You should try to avoid stimulants such as technology or alcohol, particularly close to bedtime.
A good night's sleep can really help reduce symptoms of stress, so ensure you have a good wind down routine in the evenings.'