Dinner party stress is a rising phenomenon, with Brits believing that hosting a dinner party is a more stressful experience than visiting the dentist, going for a job interview and taking a driving test.
This dinner party anxiety, or 'hostess-itis', stems from the amount of pressure we place on ourselves to host the perfect party.
With 47% of people spending at least three hours preparing food in advance of their guests arriving, and 15% said that despite the preparation, they spent the entire evening in the kitchen and did not have the time to mingle with guests.
The research carried out by Coppenrath & Wiese, which surveyed 1736 UK adults also revealed that 1 in 20 Brits were so anxious that they had a panic attack while hosting a dinner party and 14% vowed never to hold another one again.
Psychologist Donna Dawson said: 'Hostess-itis is a perfect way to describe the anxiety and panic that overwhelms us when putting on a dinner party, as we are afraid that we will be judged and found lacking. Seduced by celebrity TV chefs into thinking that whipping up a wonderful meal in minutes should be easy and fun, we rush about on a surge of adrenalin, inflicting headaches, stomach ache and even panic attacks on ourselves in our attempt to make everything perfect. The secret is to slow down, accept that not every item of our meal needs to be cooked from scratch, and to realise that it is more important to enjoy this precious time with friends. One pre-emptive action that we can take is not to invite those so-called 'friends' who are likely to judge us or make us feel anxious in the first place!'