Stress teaser

21 Jul 2017

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.

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
  • Moodiness
  • Headaches
  • 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

Other services

Mental health support and resources

Mental health information for young people

SANE Forums
Peer-to-peer support for people living with a mental health problem, and for their families and other carers.
If you are experiencing high levels of stress get help. Talk to your GP, a Counsellor or call Lifeline WA on
13 11 14.

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