We all experience stress - however when it becomes a constant feature of your day - it can turn into a problem.
Stress is a process, not a diagnosis.
The Better Health page on stress says that we experience stress when there is an imbalance between the demands being made on us and our resources to cope with those demands.
The level and extent of stress a person may feel depends a lot on their attitude to a particular situation. An event that may be extremely stressful for one person can be a mere hiccup in another person’s life.
Stress affects us in many ways, including:
- Emotionally – anxiety, depression, tension, anger, worrying and ruminating
- The way we think – poor concentration, forgetfulness, indecisiveness, apathy, hopelessness
- Behaviourally – increased drinking and smoking, insomnia, accident proneness, weight problems, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, nervousness, gambling.
When we feel under stress, our body kicks into high gear to deal with the threat.
Our heartbeat, breathing rate and blood pressure all go up. The longer we feel stressed, the greater the demand on our body.
Beyond tells us that stress is a common response to tough events or situations. Some stress is normal and stress itself is not anxiety or depression. However, severe and ongoing stress may be a risk factor if it persists.
Reducing stress is an important consideration for us all over these unprecedented times. Here are the top tips to reduce stress:
- Do things you enjoy - join a club or group, or try volunteering. Check out our Get Involved page.
- Resolve personal conflicts
- Get out into nature - read How the great outdoors can help your mental health
- Get your working hours under control
- Exercise regularly - get active and stay healthy and strong
- Reach out and get support - Partners in wellbeing or Friendline are two services you could try.
- Try some relaxation or meditation - the Insight timer has lots you can try
- Spend time with friends or family who make you feel happy
- Express gratitude
- Laugh - watching a cute animal video can lift your mood. Check out our for fun animal videos.
Read more on the Better Health and Beyond Blue
Reviewed 27 December 2022