Money and work are still the biggest worries keeping us up at night.
A Lifeline poll of more than 1200 respondents reveals that 77 per cent of Australians experience job-related stress and 72 per cent experience stress caused by finances.
And stress levels are rising: almost half the respondents indicated they suffered “a lot” of stress in these areas, which is up from about a quarter in 2013.
“If stress lasts a long time or overwhelms our ability to cope, it can have a detrimental effect on our health, wellbeing and general enjoyment of life,” Lifeline chairman John Brogden said.
However, laughter could be the best medicine in combating the nation’s rising anxiety – 98 per cent agreed that humour reduces stress.
Comedian and Lifeline ambassador Anthony Ackroyd says that while stress can damage the brain, laughter can stimulate its reward centre, which is the same part that lights up when we receive an unexpected gift.
“It squirts out this wonderful chemical called dopamine and we feel fantastic,” he said.
Tips for coping with stress:
* Share your feelings with someone you trust
* Exercise and eat a balanced diet
* Make time for family and friends
* Limit alcohol intake and use of other substances
* Practise relaxation techniques
* Plan ahead to manage situations you know will be stressful