In 2015, the Australian Psychological Society (APS) conducted its annual report – The Stress and wellbeing in Australia survey report. The results are in and they are disturbing!
The half decade snapshot shows that Australians are faring worse than they were in 2011 when the survey began. Reporting lower levels of wellbeing and workplace wellbeing along with higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety symptoms. What is interesting and very concerning is what Australian’s are doing to manage that stress. The five most popular ways of managing stress in Australia over the five years are:
- watching television/ movies – 85 per cent;
- focusing on the positives – 81 per cent;
- spending time with friends and/ or family – 81 per cent;
- listening to music – 80 per cent; and
- reading – 75 per cent
For me I tried these methods for years and found they didn’t help with my stress levels. Although, the choice of movies, music and which friends you spend time with all have an impact on how this would affect your stress levels. For example, music can actually be a fantastic sound healing technique and has been used for thousands of years to to increase wellbeing and health. However if you are listening to heavy metal music as opposed to classical this will have a dramatic impact on how it affects you and whether you are likely to get a positive or negative affect from the music. Due to a turbulent childhood, I found that I spent most of my life in the stress response (flight or fight) so I tried many different techniques over many years. I have found myself to be a self professed stress junkie so if there is a technique that has been used by someone somewhere in the world I have probably tried it at least once! There were a number of things I used that had a dramatic impact and others that had less effect. I think something we also need to consider here, is what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. I just recently came back from my Ayurvedic Lifestyle Certification with the world renowned Chopra Center in San Diego California. What I learned there is that everyone has an individual mind/body constitution or “dosha“. The principles they teach date back thousands of years and most still hold true to this day. I had some major shifts in my health when I learned to tailor what I was doing to my individual body type. Even though I did yoga, meditation and used essential oils as well as intensive personal work through (grownowcc.com and julielewin.com) I was able to see that even the type of yoga and meditation I did had a different impact on my wellbeing. For example, I have a tendency towards overheating and also anxiety so I found that heated yoga such as bikram really didn’t serve me and was too intensive for my body. How do you feel after doing certain exercise? If you feel more exhausted than you did before it (which I did after Bikram) then it is probably not the right exercise for you. I switched to gentle flow yoga and qi gong and found this to be immensely beneficial in helping me to regain my health and balance. Take a closer look at the things you are doing to manage your stress? Question if it is working for you and if it isn’t, look at ways of introducing small things into your lifestyle that will help you to reduce any stress that you have. You can come at it from two angles, you can try and reduce the major stresses or even eliminate them. However, sometimes they are out of your immediate control to some extent but this is one way of tackling your stress. For example, if you have relationship stress then you can choose to take yourself out of that stressful environment which would mean you aren’t exposed to that stress anymore. The only issue with this approach is that when you face another stressor you really haven’t developed the tools for managing the stress so you will likely find yourself in the same situation again. Really the best way to keep your stress under control is to enlist tools that will help you to manage it more effectively. If you are interested in learning more about how you can tailor your diet, exercise and even the music you listen to so that it is more in line with your unique and individual constitution, then complete your FREE body type quiz. The body type (dosha) quiz will help you get the most out of your lifestyle, improve your health and reduce stress significantly. You will learn what your individual mind/body constitution is and get some recommendations from me personally on easy things you can introduce into your daily life that will really help you! This is something you need to take seriously. Did you know that over 4 million Australians experience mental and behavioural issues each year in Australia and this is for the most part due to high levels of stress they are experiencing. Everyone talks about heart disease and diabetes and while yes these are very important health issues facing our communities, we also need to consider that the biggest cause of death in Australia in young adults is actually suicide. Not many people are even aware of this fact.
What are you willing to commit to today (however small) to work on managing your stress?