Reducing Stress in Your Life

stressMental Health Australia (MHA) is leading the annual, October 10th World Mental Health Day campaign in Australia.  This year’s theme is ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ and MHA’s ‘Do You See What I See’ campaign challenges our perceptions of mental illness. It encourages all of us to take a more positive view of mental health as a way to not only reduce any stigma attached to mental health issues but also to make it easier for those affected to seek out the support and treatment they need and deserve.

For many of us as adults, our work takes up a large portion of our lives. For some, the stresses and strains of the workplace can have a negative impact on performance at work causing lost working days and decreased productivity. Workplace stress can also spill over into home and family life, causing physical and mental health issues.

What are The Effects of Stress?

Are the symptoms of stress affecting your life? Here is Bathurst Chiropractor, Ben Purcell’s checklist of common stress effects and symptoms – how many can you say “yes” to?

  • Physical effects: Headaches, muscle tension, chest pains, chronic fatigue, loss of libido, digestive issues, insomnia, autoimmune problems
  • Mental health effects: Depression, sadness, anxiety, inability to focus, loss of motivation, feelings of being overwhelmed, irritability or anger
  • Behavioural effects: Weight gain or weight loss, abuse of alcohol or drugs (recreational or prescription), withdrawal from social activity, stopping or reducing sport and exercise activities

Recognizing these symptoms in yourself or in someone close to you should prompt you to take action. Stress that is not addressed and allowed to become chronic can lead to many physical health problems including hypertension, coronary disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

What Can I Do To Reduce Stress In My Life?

Bathurst Chiropractor, Ben Purcell, advises there are many practical self-help things we can all do to reduce stress and its negative impact on our lives.

  • Learn how to use your time effectively, set limits and learn how to say ‘no’ sometimes to any additional workload that would otherwise increase your stress levels.
  • Make time for regular exercise. This will help to boost production of those feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins. These will have a positive impact on how you feel.
  • Learn how to relax, perhaps taking some classes in Yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation.
  • Take care of your body, eat healthily and manage your weight. Avoid using drugs or alcohol to help you get through the day.
  • Maintain a positive, ‘glass half full’ attitude and accept there are things in life that you cannot change or control.
  • Ensure that you get adequate sleep. If insomnia is a problem for you, seek help as insufficient sleep is a big contributor to stress and anxiety as well as to physical problems.
  • Spend time with friends and family, socialise!

Where Can I Get More Help?

If the self-help tips outlined above are not helping, or you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important to seek help from a psychologist or other mental health professional.

At Bathurst Chiropractic, we use a computerised system called the NeuroInfiniti to provide a very accurate measure of our patients’ response to stress. This is non-invasive and provides patients with an indicator of how well their bodies are managing the load of everyday life. This can be a useful first step in taking the action needed to get stress levels back under control and avoid the long-term health problems that are associated with chronic stress. To find out more and to schedule an appointment, call your Bathurst Chiropractor on (02) 6331 1004 now.

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