• Dr Jessica Sammut

Let's Talk About Stress

Updated: Oct 31, 2018

Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand and can be caused by both good and bad experiences. In Australia, stress is becoming increasingly common due to the changes in our lifestyles and work life balance, lack of sleep, and even the housing crisis.



Research suggests that:

  • The number of stressed Aussies has jumped by about a third – now 4.9 million, in the last decade

  • Hospital admissions for stress have risen

  • Stress is one of the most common causes of illness and one of the main causes of sick days taken in Australia

  • Costs the economy billions each year

  • Lack of sleep was a key contributor to stress, followed by work pressures

  • People three times more likely to drink alcohol to help deal with stress than would go to a GP

Whether we read about it, hear about it or are affected by it, stress is an issue we can all relate to and one that we are surrounded by as a nation.

Recognising stress

Recognising and addressing symptoms of stress can prevent it affecting you further or leading to illness. Examples of some of the symptoms include:

  • Cognitive Symptoms: poor concentration or judgement, memory problems, anxiety, negativity, worrying constantly,

  • Emotional Symptoms: irritability, overwhelmed, loneliness, isolation, moodiness, agitation, depression

  • Physical Symptoms: aches and pains, dizziness, frequent colds, nausea, chest pains

  • Behavioural Symptoms: increased or decreased appetite or sleep, nervous habits, isolation, using alcohol or smoking to relax,

Dealing with stress

The most important thing to do is try and establish the cause or the trigger point for your stress. Like most things there is no quick-fix cure for stress, and no single method will work for everyone. However here are some simple steps that you can try:

  • Physical activity

  • Take control of the cause or trigger

  • Communicate with people and talk – whether that’s with friends and family, colleagues

  • Help other people

  • Ensure you have some “Me time” including having a massage, acupuncture, time with friends

  • Address your work life balance and make changes where possible

  • Set yourself some goals and challenges e.g. new form of exercise, start a new hobby

  • Avoid unhealthy habits that mean you avoid facing the problem

  • Help other people

  • Be positive and accept the things you cannot change

Above and beyond these simple steps, help and advice can be found via a number of sources including your GP, charities, organisations and your workplace


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