The results are in. Over 21,000 Australians have completed Blackmores Stress Quiz[i] and the results reveal as a nation we’re unquestionably stressed, with more than half of survey participants reporting that they are stressed. In the battle of the sexes unexpectedly women are handling stress better than men, reporting being less stressed than men across almost all surveyed stress triggers. Surprisingly men are more stressed about their diet and what they eat (50% of male’s site this as a cause of stress and only 37% of females do) and 68% get stressed by messiness or untidiness compared to 50% of women. 67% of men also report their self-esteem as a cause of stress in their life versus 53% of women.
However across the board both Australian men and women who completed Blackmores Stress Quiz are undoubtedly affected by stress. Of the total people surveyed, 63% feel like their lives are out of control, 49% reported they are more stressed now than the same time last year, and 30 – 39 year olds form the most stressed age group in Australia.
And what’s contributing to our stress? Lack of sleep, bills and work!
1.71% of Aussies surveyed are stressed by not sleeping well
2.68% of Aussies are stressed about their mortgage, bills and finances
3.67% of Aussies report getting stressed about making errors at work
“The results from Blackmores Stress Quiz reinforce that Australians need to address their stress,” said Blackmores Director of Education, Pam Stone.
“There is a perception that it’s just women who are stressed coping with today’s fast-paced lifestyle; multitasking, juggling work, children, family and finances. But what has been really revealing, is that when given the opportunity to open up about stress in a confidential setting, Australian men admit to being stressed too,” said Stone.
“It’s clear from the results of Blackmores Stress Quiz that both Australian women and men need more support, advice and nourishment in order to manage their everyday stresses and busy lives,” said Stone.
“While stress is a part of everyday life, excessive and ongoing stress can have serious effects on our health if left unaddressed, it can negatively impact sleep, the digestive system and energy levels. But the good news is that there are many things we can do to proactively manage stress in our lives”.
Blackmores Tips to help Aussies Stress Less:
•Good nutrition helps your body recover from stress and provides you with the resources you need to deal with it. Limit caffeine and other stimulants along with alcohol. Fuel up with nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich foods like fresh vegetables and vegetable juices, whole grains, nuts and lean protein foods. Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin can help provide nutrients during times of stress that a busy lifestyle sometimes doesn’t allow.
•B calm. Support your body and take B vitamins; in times of stress our bodies have an increased requirement for vitamins, especially B vitamins. During stress, nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin B5 are important for supporting adrenal function[ii].
•Sleep easy. Adequate sleep rejuvenates your mind, as well as your body but it’s a catch 22, when stressed often not being able to get a good night’s sleep is a side effect. To promote sleep, avoid eating late and having a large meal at night. Avoid caffeine after 12pm and don’t exercise too late in the day. You can also take a herbal supplement containing valerian that supports your body’s natural ability to sleep soundly[iii]. Other beneficial ingredients include lemon balm and magnesium.
•Exercise is key to stress management. Physical activity plays an important role in reducing the effects of stress. Not only does exercise produce feel-good endorphins, it helps clear the head, burn off pent-up tension and gives you more energy.
•Connect with others. A good social support system is a vital resource for dealing with stress (and something women are often better at than men). Talking to people you know and trust helps to give you a better perspective on things.
•Take control of your finances. Monitor your spending habits. Proper planning and budgeting will help you feel in control in this area. Get expert help if needed.
•Work smart. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Be realistic about timeframes and try to manage expectations with workloads. And remember to take regular breaks during the day, take a 10 minute stroll outside or perhaps go to the gym at lunch-time. You will be more productive in the long run.
“Remember that stress is not so much what happens to you as how you respond,” said Stone. “What you eat, how much sleep you get and other lifestyle factors have a strong bearing on how you deal with stress. Make positive choices about how you manage stress, be proactive, take control and restore balance to your life.”
For more information on how to manage stress naturally and restore your balance go to www.blackmores.com.au/stress or call Blackmores free Advisory Service to speak to a qualified Naturopath on 1800 803 760.