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The top 5 stresses for Australian workers

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Research published by the afuturethatworks campaign identified the top 5 areas that Australian workers are most likely to be stressed about*:

 

  • Finances (75%)
  • Work (73%)
  • Health and fitness (61%)
  • Family (51%)
  • Friendships (37%)

 

It’s important to note that stress can be a positive in our lives; it can drive us to achieve or to change and can also motivate us during demanding situations.

 

However, if over time our feelings of stress become prolonged and chronic they can have adverse effects on our physical, social and emotional fitness and wellbeing.

 

What are the impacts of stress?

 

Stress can have significant impacts on your body, your mood and on your behaviour.

 

Impacts on your body can include:

 

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Fatigue

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Impacts on your mood can include:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or anger
  • Depression or sadness

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Impacts on your behaviour can include:

 

  • Over eating or under eating
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Social withdrawal

 

How can I Stress Down?

 

Tuesday, 24 July is Stress Down Day, an important event to raise awareness around the impacts of stress and also to raise money to support Lifeline, the national charity that provides 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. You can help to raise funds for Lifeline by signing up at the Stress Down Day GoFundraise page.

 

Learning to minimise stress is an important skill for enhancing mental fitness. Here are some quirky tips on bringing down your levels of stress. Enjoy!

 

  • Sweet talk your pet: studies show that speaking to your pet in a happy or upbeat tone reduces your levels of stress
  • Chew gum: the act of chewing reduces your cortisol levels. Cortisol is your body’s natural alarm system and is best known for managing your “fight or flight” instinct at a time of stress or crisis
  • Dance like you can’t dance no more: turn up the volume on your favourite music and get moving. Studies show that dancing reduces stress and anxiety levels. Dancing is a form of exercise and getting active can help to release endorphins, chemicals produced by your body that are typically associated with feelings of pleasure, euphoria and pain relief
  • Pop bubble wrap: who doesn’t love bubble wrap? Did you ever wonder why each “pop”, “Pop”, “POP!” is so satisfying? It’s been proven to make you calmer by helping to release muscle tension; flexing and releasing muscles has been shown to release muscle tension, which in turn helps to alleviate stress
  • Blow up balloons: the actions we take when blowing up balloons force us to take deep, controlled breaths; this helps to slow your heart rate and to relax your muscle tension

 

What actions will you take to minimise your stress on 24 July? If you feel like you need support to better manage your stress or your reactions to symptoms of stress, call the Converge International Employee Assistance Program on 1300 OUR EAP (1300 687 327).
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* Data is from the Workplace Wellbeing report, published by afuturethatworks 2017.

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