So annoying! Loud talkers, slow movers top list of life’s daily stressors

LONDON — A new poll shows common daily stressors that annoy people include walking behind a slow-moving person and overhearing a stranger’s loud speakerphone conversation.

Other aggravations on the list of daily frustrations include cleaning the house only to have children mess it up almost immediately, dealing with a broken dishwasher, and neglecting to carry an umbrella when it suddenly rains. Traffic congestion, malfunctioning home appliances, and the inconvenience of hanging laundry outside only to have rain soak it also make the list.

A survey of 2,000 adults revealed that they encounter three such stressful moments daily. As a result, 70 percent constantly feel the need to take a break, yet only 26 percent find opportunities to do so a few times a week. This leaves 61 percent desiring more chances to escape their daily pressures.

For those fortunate enough to snag a brief respite, 35 percent choose a brisk walk, 38 percent indulge in a hot tea, and one in five quickly scroll through social media. The study was commissioned by Cadbury’s TimeOut, in support of the “Time to Call TimeOut” campaign, which urges people to pause when overwhelmed.

Mother doing work, stressed with children
(© famveldman –

“The current state of the world can easily lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. There’s a multitude of uncontrollable frustrations, so it’s essential to concentrate on what’s within our grasp,” spokesperson Diana Mamulian says in a statement.

According to the research, one in five adults deem Tuesday the most challenging day of the week. To counter weekly stressors, other popular choices include listening to music (33%) and enjoying a sweet treat (28%).

When people do manage to take a break, 59 percent need up to 20 minutes before they actually experience relief, according to the OnePoll survey. However, six in 10 would greatly appreciate more chances to take such moments of respite.

Top 10 Daily Stressors

  1. Being caught in traffic
  2. Essential home appliances malfunctioning
  3. Trailing behind a slow-walking person
  4. Experiencing car trouble
  5. Cleaning the home, only to have it upended by kids or a partner soon after
  6. Having drying laundry drenched by unexpected rain
  7. Stubbing your toe
  8. Discovering an empty fridge at dinnertime
  9. Forgetting an umbrella during a downpour
  10. Being subjected to a nearby stranger’s speakerphone conversation

South West News Service writer Lucy Brimble contributed to this report.

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