Have you been feeling stressed lately? You’re not alone as according to Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2018, 20.1% of Australians (1 in 5) have had anxiety-related conditions and depression. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) surveyed in 2015 that 35% of Australians are under significant distress. Southern Cross Health Society's recent survey showed 60% of New Zealanders undergo stress at least once per week.
The body is engineered to respond to threats or even complete tasks under pressure. During a stressful situation, stress hormones, like cortisol, are released from the body to “fight” or “flight” in response to circumstances. This increases alertness in your brain, your heart rate and blood pressure, disrupts your digestion and stimulates the immune system. Short term stress does not harm your body. After the stressors leave, the body usually returns to normal mode. However, if chronic stress continues it can lead to long term harm with lifestyle and mental health disorders that include: digestive problems, autoimmune disorders, sleep disruption, heart disease, weight gain, concentration and memory disruption, anxiety attacks, depression and sexual dysfunction.
It is actually possible to manage and reduce chronic stress! First, identify the source of stress, and then work towards avoiding or eliminating them. Key steps to reducing your stress include:
1) do regular moderate exercise
2) practice daily gratitude
3) get enough sleep
4) eat a healthy plant-rich diet.
Take control of your life today and let’s get started on this plan!
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