Many factors can have an impact on a person’s ability to relax – not least of all environment.

Where we live can have a huge effect on stress levels, with pollution, crime rates, and even weather proven to impact mood.

According to Forbes Advisor, 79% of British adults feel stressed at least once a month, so the life insurance experts were keen to discover which regions in England have the most, and least, chilled residents.

Each county in England was analysed to determine how stressed residents were by considering searches for terms such as ‘how to reduce stress’, ‘stress relief’ and ‘relaxation techniques’. From this, experts were able to determine the regions most in need of a destress.


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Least stressed regions in England

Yeovil Express: Durham ranked first in the list of least stressed regions. Picture: Google MapsDurham ranked first in the list of least stressed regions. Picture: Google Maps

County Durham ranks as the region with the most relaxed residents, based on search data for stress-related terms. Only 670 searches were made for all the stress-related terms combined by locals in the county, a minuscule 0.0008 searches per resident.

Durham city centre’s famed cathedral views, top-ranking university and flowing River Wear may help to explain why residents feel at peace. Outside of the city, 57 per cent of the county is classified as ‘rural‘ giving residents plenty of green space too.

Somerset also fared well appearing in the top 10 least stressed regions, coming in at number five.

Here’s the full list, including the total number of searches and what that equates to per resident:

1. County Durham - 670 searches - 0.00088 per resident

2. Nottinghamshire - 1,230 searches - 0.00117 per resident

3. Gloucestershire - 1,080 searches - 0.00124 per resident

4. Northumberland - 480 searches - 0.00166 per resident

5. Somerset - 1,530 searches - 0.00167 per resident

6. Berkshire - 1,470 searches - 0.0017 per resident

7. East Sussex - 1,390 searches - 0.00173 per resident

8. Herefordshire - 330 searches - 0.00183 per resident

9. Dorset - 1,350 searches - 0.00184 per resident

10. North Yorkshire - 1,990 searches - 0.00187 per resident

Most stressed regions in England

Yeovil Express: Bristol ranked the most stressed region in Britain. Picture: Google MapsBristol ranked the most stressed region in Britain. Picture: Google Maps

Bristol is the region with the most stressed residents coming out bottom of the table in 46th place. Bristol’s crime rate is 20% higher than the England, Wales and Northern Ireland average which may be contributing to this.

Other areas which also scored poorly included Merseyside, West Midlands, Tyne and Wear, and Greater Manchester, making up the top five most-stressed regions.

Here’s the full list including the total number of searches and what that equates to per resident:

1. Bristol - 1,580 searches - 0.00361 per resident

2. Merseyside - 3,380 searches - 0.00265 per resident

3. West Midlands - 6,570 searches - 0.00247 per resident

4. Tyne and Wear - 2,480 searches - 0.00242 per resident

5. Greater Manchester - 6,080 searches - 0.00234 per resident

6. West Yorkshire - 4,930 searches - 0.00233 per resident

7. Leicestershire - 2,260 searches - 0.00229 per resident

8. Cambridgeshire - 1,700 searches - 0.00218 per resident

9. South Yorkshire - 2,760 searches - 0.00216 per resident

10. Hertfordshire - 2,310 searches - 0.00213 per resident

Offering advice on how to reduce stress, Forbes Advisor Laura Howard said: “Few of us lead entirely stress-free lives. But for some, stress can be debilitating and harmful to their health and wellbeing.

“Reducing stress levels can help people to be healthier and happier, and the good news is that there are many effective ways to achieve this that are free and readily accessible.

“For example, we should never underestimate the value of simply getting some fresh air, whether that’s a trip to the countryside or just visiting the local park. Exercise can also be hugely beneficial, even if it’s only a walk around the block. It’s all about triggering the release of endorphins - the body’s natural stress relievers.

“Making time to chat to friends or family is also likely to make you feel better. Anything that brings a fresh perspective can put problems into perspective and ease feelings of anxiety.

“Some environments can be more conducive than others to living a stress-free existence. But wherever you are, taking action to reduce stress levels has to be a good idea.”