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Why so glum? Germans struggle to find joy, poll suggests

John Macdougall / AFP - Getty Images

Players with German football team Bayern Munich show their disappointment after losing the UEFA Champions League final to Chelsea FC on Saturday.

MAINZ, Germany -- Only one-in-six Germans can recall a moment in which they felt truly happy, according to a new survey.

The poll also suggests that many Germans feel weighed down by the financial crisis in Europe -- despite the fact the country enjoys a record of solid growth.

The results showed that nearly half of all Germans say they are increasingly incapable of "true relaxation" and enjoying their free time, due to the stress of their everyday lives and the feeling of being constantly reachable.

German perfectionism may be part of the problem. About eight-in-10 of those surveyed remarked that they experience pleasure best when they have managed to achieve something first.

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And while 91 percent of participants said that pleasure makes life worthwhile, only 15 percent recalled moments in which they felt truly happy.

'Traditional German virtues'
In recent months, German health officials have warned about so-called "burn-out syndrome," as experts highlighted a significant rise in the number of people suffering from depression in the country.

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The poll was carried out by market research firm Rheingold. Psychologists interviewed 60 men and women and polled 1,000 other individuals across the country.

"We found that traditional German virtues, such as conscientiousness and the drive for perfectionism, played an important role in the answers of many people," said Rainer Pfuhler, the firm's marketing director. "While we did not specifically ask about the economic crisis in Europe, many participants in the survey independently raised the question 'why they cannot easily enjoy life', despite the fact that Germany is doing really well."

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