People in Northeastern and Midwestern states report feeling the most stressed out, when asked by pollsters whether they felt stressed during the day preceding the survey.

Gallup released its annual stress poll Tuesday after surveying more than 353,000 American adults from January through December of last year as part of its Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Nationally, 40.6 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed, with a high of 47.1 percent in West Virginia and a low of 32.1 percent in Hawaii.

Rhode Island, the state with the second-highest unemployment rate last year at 10.8 percent, was the also the second most-stressed state, with 46.3 percent of respondents reporting stress in the preceding day. Conversely, Louisiana with a 5.6 percent unemployment rate last year, reported the second-lowest rate of stress at 37.6 percent of respondents.

The observation mirrors a report from the American Psychological Association last year finding a link between the stress and unemployment rates as the country continues to recover the economic malaise that began in 2007. "Social scientists from a range of disciplines have provided cross-sectional evidence of a connection between unemployment and various indicators of mental health" such as stress, the report stated.

However, health experts say causality might flow in both directions, with poorer mental health leading to adverse employment outcomes, as well as a maelstrom of other factors affecting stress and other aspects of mental well-being.

States reporting a middling sense of well-being, at least as far as stress, included Montana, Vermont, North Dakota, and California, all with 40 percent of respondents saying they'd felt stressed during the previous day.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control offers information on stress and tips for self-care, given the correlations between higher levels of stress and many health ailments. "DocMikeEvans" offers this video on the impact of stress on health: