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Managing Stress

The current climate in our society is one that presents us with a multitude of stresses. The need to juggle so many priorities means that we can often forget to think about our own wellbeing. Research conducted by Lifeline* found that 93% of Australians experience stress in their life due to the pressures relating to work, their family, their future, health and financial pressure.

48% of the population also indicated that at least one of these factors caused them “a lot” of stress. *(Source Newspoll National Stress Poll July 2011)
The impact stress has on mental and physical health

Stress is the body’s way of dealing with pressure. Stress can be a positive thing, helping us strive for results during competitive or demanding situations. However prolonged, chronic stress can be detrimental to our physical, emotional and social wellbeing. Stress may impact you in one or more of the following ways in varying degrees;
  •  Erratic or uncharacteristic mood swings or personality changes
  •  Unusual sleeping patterns – feeling tired all the time or not getting enough sleep
  •  Nervous habits or compulsive behaviours
  •  Changes in appetite and diet – loss off appetite or eating more frequently or more unhealthily
  •  Dependence on alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism
  •  Loss of interest in activities such as hobbies, work or socialising
  •  Experiencing panic or anxiety and a sense of not coping
  •  Physical affects such as increased blood pressure, headaches, or exhaustion
  •  Affects on mental health – feeling down or depressed most of the time
If you experience prolonged stress with one or more of the above symptoms it may be time to seek help.

Simple tips for coping with stress
  •  Talk to someone you trust and share your feelings
  •  Take time to look after yourself physically with exercise, a balanced diet and health checks
  •  Allocate time for thing you enjoy and that make you happy
  •  Don’t place unnecessary pressure or expectations on yourself
  •  Make time for friends and family amid other priorities
  •  Limit alcohol intake and use of other substances
  •  If you feel your stress levels peaking take a few minutes of time out
  •  Practice relaxation techniques
  •  Plan ahead to manage situations that you know are going to be stressful
  •  “Opt in” to positive activities, rather than “opting out” or avoiding life’s challenges.
Additional Stress Resources

For more detailed and comprehensive information about identifying and managing everyday stress download Lifeline's Information Service Overcoming Stress Tool kitor Coping with Stress fact sheet below.

Stress tool kit cover Coping with Stress cover


Where to go for more help

If you need to speak to someone about stress you can contact Lifeline 24 hours a day on 13 11 14. You’ll also find helpful resources and information about mental health and stress at lifeline.org.au