All Posts Tagged: stress

Woman dealing with stress

Stress and how to manage it

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or pressure.

The amount of stress you feel can depend on your attitude to a particular situation. An event that may be extremely stressful for one person can be a mere hiccup for another person.

When the term ‘stress’ is used in a clinical sense, it refers to a situation that causes discomfort and distress for a person and can lead to other mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

Feelings of stress can affect all of us

You may feel under pressure to do something and fear you may fail. The more important the outcome, the more stressed you feel.

You can feel stressed by external situations (too much work, children misbehaving) and by internal triggers (the way you think about external situations).

It’s not always a bad thing

Some people thrive on stress and even need it to get things done. For example, a small amount of stress, like meeting a deadline, can actually be helpful.

Signs of stress

There are some signs which indicate our stress levels are affecting us in a negative way:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
  • Feeling ‘on edge’ or unable to stop worrying
  • Difficulty sleeping, fatigue and exhaustion
  • Changes in appetite
  • Physical reactions such as headaches, muscle tension, upset stomach, and difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in mood and irritability
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Reliance on alcohol or other substances to cope.

Effects of stress

Stress affects us in many ways, including:

  • Emotionally – anxiety, depression, tension, anger
  • The way we think – poor concentration, forgetfulness, indecisiveness, apathy, hopelessness
  • Behaviourally – increased drinking and smoking, insomnia, accident proneness, weight problems, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, nervousness, gambling.

Stress may also contribute to physical illness such as cardiovascular disease. When stress turns into a serious illness, it’s important to get professional help as soon as possible.

How to manage stress

The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ is certainly true for stress management. It will help if you:

  • Exercise regularly – regular exercise is a great way to manage stress. You should do some form of exercise that causes you to feel puffed afterwards – a leisurely stroll to the bus stop is not enough! Have at least 20 minutes of exercise three times a week
  • Avoid conflict – avoid situations that make you feel stressed such as unnecessary arguments and conflict (although ignoring a problem is not always the best way to reduce stress). Assertiveness is fine but becoming distressed is not
  • Relax – give yourself some time to relax each day and try to spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself
  • Eat well – a nutritious diet is important. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid sweet and fatty foods
  • Sleep – a good sleep routine is essential. If you have difficulty falling asleep, do something calm and relaxing before you go to bed like listening to music or reading
  • Enjoy your life – it’s important to make time to have some fun and to get a balance in your life.

How to get help

Start with your GP for a check-up.

Your GP may refer you for some specialised help. This may include a member of our on-site allied health team such as a psychologist, physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.

There are also some great support services available, such as Lifeline.

The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can get on top of your stress levels and feel more equipped to cope.

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Lifeline

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Read More
Laughing is good for your health.

Do you have enough reasons to laugh?

When did you last have a really good laugh?

You know, one of those outbursts that literally shakes your whole body. When you can hardly breathe and your sides are hurting afterwards. If you can’t remember the last time you really laughed, it may be a sign you need to make room for a little more humour and playfulness in your life.

Laughter is good for you

Humour balances the seriousness of life, and it’s what helps you endure challenges. Laughter is good for you on many levels:

Laughter relaxes your whole body

A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, relaxing your muscles for up to 45 minutes afterwards.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins

The body’s natural feel-good chemicals, endorphins promote an overall sense of wellbeing.

Laughter boosts the immune system

It decreases stress hormones and increases your body’s production of white blood cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter protects the heart

Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect against heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Ways to laugh more

You can find more reasons to laugh by:

  • Smiling – this is where laughter begins, so find reasons to smile and let it take over your body.
  • Spending time with fun, playful people – seek out family and friends who make you laugh.
  • Moving towards laughter – when you hear people laughing, join them; laughter is highly contagious.
  • Joining a laughter club – these are groups that get together for the express purpose of laughing.
  • Watching comedy – this can be in any form you like, such as a YouTube clip, live act, TV show or movie.
  • Reading funny books or comics – start each day with a funny quote or cartoon.

What or who makes you laugh? Invest some recovery time in these activities and people.

Professional help is at hand

If you or a loved one simply can’t find a reason to laugh or smile, you might benefit from chatting to one of our friendly doctors. You may be entitled to Medicare-subsidised counselling under the GP Mental Health Care Plan Scheme. Please ask your doctor for details and a referral.

For a private consultation with one of our psychologists, no referral is required – you can simply make a booking with Reception.

 

Source: The Life Plan: Simple Strategies for a Meaningful Life by Shannah Kennedy

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Read More
Woman meditating

10 healthy habits for 2021

Now that the new year is well underway, how are you going with your goals and resolutions?

If you haven’t already made any, it’s not too late to kick-start the new year.

Here are 10 healthy habits to give your year the boost it may need.

1. Cut down on stress

Untreated stress can lead to serious illness.

Whether you tackle stress through exercise, meditation, leaving work on time, getting more organised or any other method, everyone can benefit from cutting stress from their lives.

2. Get more sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Consider introducing a nightly routine where you turn lights off and get ready for bed 30 minutes before you want to sleep. And avoid watching nail-biting Netflix shows at night!

3. Eat well

No, you don’t need to go on a fad diet or totally quit sugar. Trying to eat more vegies and home-cooked meals is a better approach.

Like anything, it comes down to planning and changing your habits.

If cooking isn’t your thing, make use of meal subscription services like Marley Spoon or Hello Fresh, or sign up for grocery delivery to make sure you always have fresh, healthy food on hand.

4. Do more exercise

Even little bursts of activity — such as a daily 15-minute power walk — can have big health and mood benefits.

Try walking to work or take a couple of laps around the block in your lunch break, or try a fun new activity like indoor rock climbing that will help you get active without seeming like a chore.

Need help with exercise? Have a chat with our exercise physiologist, Mike Fitzsimon.

5. Get vaccinated

A COVID-19 vaccination will help reduce the severity of COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated can also protect people around you, particularly those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, like the elderly.

6. Read more

Reading has been found to reduce stress and boost memory, focus and concentration, so make a list of books you want to read and stick to it.

Consider joining a book club if you think you’ll need more of an incentive to hit your reading target.

7. Travel domestically

Traveling can get you out of your comfort zone, and that’s a good thing.

Luckily, you don’t have to travel far to have a good time. Pick a location in Victoria you’ve never been to before, program the GPS and head off for a weekend adventure.

Just remember to book ahead to avoid disappointment!

8. Log off

Studies show excessive screen time can disrupt sleep and contribute to anxiety and stress, so make yourself a daily digital curfew and stick to it.

If you work from home, this is even more important.

9. Eat breakfast

It’s the most important meal of the day. So do your mind and metabolism a favour and make time for a healthy breakfast each morning.

10. See your doctor

Your relationship with your doctor is one of the most beneficial you will have over your lifetime.

Regular health checks with your doctor can give you peace of mind, confirm you are on the road to good health or identify any potential health concerns early.

Make a booking today with one of our friendly doctors. You can book online, on Facebook, on the HotDoc app or by calling 9304 0500.

Good luck with your healthy habits this year!

Source: News.com.au

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Read More
Had your COVID-19 winter booster?

If you're aged 50 and over, it is recommended you receive the winter booster.

If you're aged 30-49, you can choose to receive the winter booster.

Call us on 9304 0500 to book in!