Stress: Younger people feel the strain

We discovered that the younger generation, those aged 18-34, are almost three times more likely to say they are feeling stressed than the older generation 65+, according to a national survey we commissioned on the topic of stress and anxiety.
Almost 90% of people aged 18-34 say they currently feel stressed, compared to just a third of people aged 65+. Younger people are feeling the pressure in all parts of their lives rating their stress ‘generally’ at a 3 out of 5 in our stress-scale findings. However, the most carefree are those aged 65+ who score just 1 on the same scale.

One of the main factors in driving anxiety and worry across the country has been the pressure to ‘return to normal’ quicker than people are comfortable with (29%). A third of people said that the pressure to ‘return to normal’ has been coming from work, with nearly half of people aged between 35 – 44 (47%) stating that as the reason. While for over 65s the pressure to return to normal is most likely to come from their families.

Aidan Goggins, Pharmacist, Nutritionist and member of FutureYou Cambridge advisory board says we should be looking after our stress levels more:

“Stress is an inescapable reality of everyday life. However, the increased and persistent levels that the pandemic has brought about not only affects how we feel but greatly contributes to our risk of physical and mental health.
“Ashwagandha is an age old ayurvedic adaptogen claimed to promote “youthful vigour” by increasing our resilience to stresses. Pharmacological studies now support this showing it reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol and exerts beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions”

The findings illustrate that the increasing strain has led to half of people saying this has impacted their sleep, a third say it has made them argue with their partners and a quarter say their intimacy with their spouse has taken a blow.

Symptoms of chronic stress can take many forms, but for a third it has made them short tempered, 28% say it affects their focus, while for a fifth stress makes them eat more than usual. To cope with their feelings, the survey shows that people have been turning to exercise (35%), eating healthier (22%) and spending time (where able to) with their family and friends. On the negative side, some are using alcohol as a coping mechanism (16%). However, despite these attempts to alleviate stress, only 1 in 10 used a health supplement to help ease their feelings, 7% have asked for medical advice with only 6% consulting a counselling service.

Stress survey
In summary
Currently, the nation appears stressed to some degree, with just under 2 in 3 mentioning this. Sleep has been a sizeable factor to be affected because of this, with just over 1 in 2 saying it had been affected, with around a third saying they had experienced losing sleep because of stress and anxiety, and around 1 in 4 said they were sleeping less now vs last year
Research methodology
An online survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 2,008 respondents from the UK. The research fieldwork took place on 30th April – 5th May 2021. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to theMRS code. Here are some additional results about how we’re currently feeling.

Key findings include:
Monday was by the far the day of the week people felt the most stressed – with 43% saying this with the key time being 11.15 am.
53% (the highest proportion) said that their sleep was affected by their stress.
29% said they were feeling pressured to return to normal life.
Those in Engineering (25%) and IT (20%) were most likely to say they felt stressed all of the time.
Across the UK those in London are most likely currently feeling stressed with 71%, which is higher than the 61% national average. While the least stressed are those in Scotland.