2017 was the saddest year so far, with people all over the world experiencing high levels of stress

More people reported feeling stressed, worried, anxious and with physical pain in 2017 than in any previous year (file image)

Last year was the saddest in the world in more than a decade, according to a new survey.

More people reported feeling stressed, worried, anxious and in physical pain in 2017 than in any previous year, according to the Gallup Annual Emotion Report.

Pollsters say this means that the global mood is bleaker since the first survey of its kind was conducted in 2006.

The Central African Republic plagued with violence was named the country with the most negative experiences, while Paraguay took the crown as the nation with the most positive experiences.

More people reported feeling stressed, worried, anxious and with physical pain in 2017 than in any previous year (file image)

More people reported feeling stressed, worried, anxious and with physical pain in 2017 than in any previous year (file image)

For the report, Gallup surveyed more than 154,000 people in 146 countries about whether they had felt pain, worry, stress, anger or sadness the day before.

The pollsters found that about four in 10 people said they experienced stress or worry the day before the survey, CNN reported.

One in five people reported feeling angry or sad the previous day, and about a third said they experienced physical pain.

Negative stress can manifest physically, including headaches, high blood pressure and chest pain.

All of this can increase the risk of diseases or make them worse, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and arthritis.

In addition, an increase in cortisol, called a stress hormone, can increase the amount of fatty tissue in your body and cause you to gain weight.

"Collectively, the world is more stressed, worried, sad and sore than we've ever seen it," Gallup editor-in-chief Mohamed Younis wrote in a foreword to the study.

Geographically, sub-Saharan Africa was the region with the most negative emotions, with 24 of the 35 countries surveyed achieving a minimum happiness of 10 years in 2017.

The nation's civic unrest has paralyzed health systems and caused hunger.

The Central African Republic (CAR) toppled Iraq for the first time in four years as the country with the highest negative experiences reported.

The country has been plagued by violence in the last seven years due to the conflict between Muslims and Christians.

According to the United Nations Agency for Refugees, more than 600,000 people in the country have been displaced.

Gallup pollsters said they could not reach nearly 40 percent of the population of the Central African Republic because of the violence.

However, of the people who were spoken to, three out of four said they suffered physical pain or that they felt worried the day before they were interviewed.

In addition, CAR received a score of the Negative Experience Index of 61, which is the highest ever recorded for a country since the survey was initiated.

"In CAR and some of these other places, high percentages of the population are just struggling to buy the basics," lead author Julie Ray, a Gallup writer, told Reuters.

& # 39; Collectively, the world is more stressed, worried, sad, and aching than we've ever seen it

Mohamed Younis, managing editor of Gallup

Completing the bottom five of the most negative countries were: Iraq, South Sudan, Chad and Sierra Leone.

All over the world, the Negative Experience score was 30 points, two points more than the 28 in 2016, and a large increase from 23 in 2007.

The richer countries were not immune to the fall in mood. Approximately half of the Americans interviewed said they were stressed, roughly the same proportion of respondents as in the Central African Republic.

Economist Jan-Emmanuel De Neve said it was "disturbing" to see that the global mood deteriorated in a context of increasing wealth and material progress.

"There's probably a more structural indicator that growing wealth is not inclusive enough," said De Neve, an associate professor at the University of Oxford, who has written about the link between income and happiness.

With regard to the countries with the positive experience index, Paraguay topped the list.

To determine the locations on this list, pollsters asked residents how often they enjoyed, smiled, rested and treated respectfully.

Worldwide, the Positive Experience score of 69, one percentage point below 70 in 2016.

Paraguay, which received a score of 85, was followed by Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Canada.

The United States and the United Kingdom tied with seven other countries and ranked 38th in the positive experience index

Although many of these countries also experience civil unrest and poverty, pollsters wrote that Latin American countries tend to "focus on the positive aspects of life."