Almost a quarter of British adults feel stressed every day, a poll suggests.
An additional 24% admit they get stressed every few days.
Of 2,000 people surveyed, 59% said their life was more stressful than five years ago.
The main stress factors included money and job pressures, Mental Health Foundation said.
Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the charity, said: "The impact of current economic problems has put a lot of people under pressure due to the fear, or reality, of unemployment, insecure housing and high levels of debt and these results are not surprising.
"Unmanaged, stress can develop into serious mental health problems, such as depression, as well as increasing the risk of physical illness such as heart disease."
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Mr McCulloch added: "The results of our survey suggest that too many of us still aren't making managing stress a priority.
"It's important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.
"We are also calling for the Government to offer more practical help for people to manage their stress better.
"The introduction of the improving access to psychological therapies programme was a great step forward, but more needs to be done as only only a quarter of those who need treatment are getting it."