Stress is the body's way of responding to demand or pressures. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. In many cases stress is a healthy reaction. It helps us cope with life’s challenges. However too much stress, or prolonged stress can affect our physical and mental health. Taking steps to cope with situations we find stressful is important so we can function and live productive lives.
If you are experiencing high levels of stress talk to your GP, a Counsellor or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
What causes stress?
Everyone responds differently to stress depending on personality, cultural background, social circumstances, past experiences, stage of life, support networks and the situation we find ourselves in. A situation one person finds stressful, another person may consider normal or even fun e.g. flying in a plane may be terrifying for one person and pleasurable for someone else.
Causes of stress can include:
- Interpersonal relationship problems
- Personal or family illness
- Conflict e.g. bullying or harassment
- Death of a relative or friend
- Work or study pressures
- Traumatic events
- Financial problems
- Concerns about life direction
- Job loss/insecurity
- Pressures from competing demands or a combination of the above
Signs you may be stressed
- Lack of motivation
- Sleeplessness or over sleeping
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling overwhelmed or anxious
- Reliance on alcohol or other substances to cope
- Increase eating, drinking or nervous habits
- Not coping with demands or responsibilities
What can be done about stress?
- Talk to someone. This helps release negative feelings
- Visit your GP to check your physical health and general wellbeing
- Exercise. This triggers a chemical response that releases positive feelings
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine because they can increase anxiousness and sleeplessness
- Take time out. Relaxing and doing activities you love can recharge your mind and body
- Thinking positive thoughts is also important
If you are experiencing high levels of stress get help. Talk to your GP, a Counsellor or call Lifeline on
13 11 14.
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