Over two-fifths (44%) of Brits say they are currently undergoing a period of stress, according to new research.
Bupa's study of over 10,000 people found nearly a third (28%) of those feeling stressed have been feeling this way for more than a year. In addition a quarter (27%) said they regularly feel close to breaking point.
Stress is most prevalent amongst 45-54 year olds with half (50%) saying they're stressed, and least prevalent amongst the 55 and overs - with only 38% stating they are currently stressed.
The survey also found women are more likely to consider themselves stressed - almost half (49%) compared with 39% of men.
Meanwhile men who are stressed admitted they were more likely to have increased how much alcohol they drink to control their stress. Women are more inclined to have tried breathing and relaxation exercises (29%) compared with 20% of men.
The study found variations in stress levels around the country with more people in the Midlands admitting to being stressed (46%) than any other region. The Welsh emerged as the least stressed with 40% of people claiming to be stressed in the region.
The single main cause of stress identified by all respondents was money worries (20%) followed by day-to-day working (18%), family life (8%) and living with a long term illness (7%).
Two-thirds (61%) revealed they would only seek help when they were unable to cope with daily life, which Bupa described as a "dangerously high trigger point."
Dr Martin Baggaley, medical director, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: "This research shows stress is extremely common in this country. While low-level and irregular bouts of stress can be beneficial and manageable, it's concerning to see that so many people are experiencing sustained and relentless stress.
"If left unchecked for a prolonged period of time, stress can cause much more serious, long-term mental and physical illnesses such as anxiety and depression, and be a contributing factor in health problems such as heart disease and even obesity."
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