Numbers released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Australian’s are stressing more than ever. With this in mind WayAhead and “Compare the Market” teamed up to produce an easy to understand infographic that shows what is making Australian’s stressed and how we are dealing with it.
While everyone acknowledges they get stressed it is less well known that stress can have detrimental effects on both your physical and mental health. People are often particularly reluctant to admit that the stresses of life are effecting their mental wellbeing and seek help for it.
75% of Australian’s surveyed admitted that stresses in their lives adversely effected their physical health, while only 64% said it effected their mental health. “Sometimes people are hesitant to acknowledge their mental health is effected by stress”, say Mehna Alacozy from WayAhead, “In fact people often say that stress effects them physically more than mentally.”
But our mental health is effected by stress.
According to a study into stress and wellbeing run by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) in 2014 “Almost two in five Australians reported experiencing at least some depression symptoms, with 13% of these Australians reporting depression symptoms in the severe to extremely severe range [and] more than one quarter of Australians reported experiencing at least some anxiety symptoms, with 13% of these Australians reporting severe to extremely severe levels of anxiety.”
Financial concerns seems to have been the largest contributor to stress within Australia over the past few years with 45% of participants saying that it was this primary concern. Of this 45%, a huge 58% felt that pressure to afford basic food and necessities was causing them undue stress and concern.
So how are we dealing with this stress as a nation?
Well according to statistics – 86% of us watch TV and Movies, closely followed by 81% of us who spend time with our loved ones. Other coping mechanisms are: Focusing on the positives, listening to music, reading, eating and adjusting our expectations. However when it comes to asking for help, over half of us fail to do so.
Of those that are willing to ask just over a quarter will seek help from family members and friends, 19% will consult a GP but under 10% are willing to ask a psychologist.
At WayAhead we have a number of “Stress Less Tips” that provide useful suggestions for coping with the stresses of everyday life. However, according to the APS “If levels of stress continue for a long period of time, or are interfering with you enjoying a healthy life, it is advisable for you to seek professional health.”
But it is important to remember that stress is a normal human emotion, as Mehna says “As strange as it may sound, stress is healthy! It helps us perform at our best, even if it makes us feel a little anxious sometimes.”
If you are concerned about your mental health you can contact WayAhead telephone Mental Health Information Line on: 1300 794 991. Or speak to your medical professional.