Talking about stress and anxiety, as simple as it sounds, is one of the most important ways to lead mental health to be less taboo. It allows for greater awareness and understanding for everyone. Mental health expert and practitioner, Lisa Gumieniuk explains below that having these fundamental conversations really allows people experiencing these emotions to know that they are not alone.
The power of talking
Stress, anxiety and overwhelm is such a common human experience. It would be difficult to find one person who has never felt these emotions sometime throughout their life, for a multitude of different reasons and in a variety of different ways. These emotions and feelings can be extremely impactful on one’s day to day operating and can leave long lasting impacts. That is why in today’s fast-paced, busy world, it is so crucial to know just how important it is so be aware of stress and overwhelm and how it affects you personally.
Lisa Gumieniuk, mental health expert and practitioner works holistically to help combat these emotions and the effects they can have on how you feel. And what is her favourite way to do this? Talking!
Whether it is to discover the main triggers as to why you are feeling the way you are, simply venting or discussing with someone how you might combat these feelings, talking is powerful. Lisa explained that overall, the most important reason to talk about the prevalence of mental health and its affects, particularly stress and anxiety, is to normalise it and make it something we aren’t nervous to talk about with loved ones. ‘Venting’ is also one of the most effective ways to process feelings. It assists you in seeing the situation clearly, releasing tension and gaining insights from an outsider’s perspective!
The stats relating to the prevalence of stress and anxiety in Australians are pretty alarming, but very important to know to be aware just how common it is! Lisa explains that 1 in 7 Australians currently experience anxiety, and 1 in 4 Australians WILL experience anxiety in their lifetime. These numbers truly highlight the point above that it is uncommon to not know someone who is aware of and has been dealt the symptoms associated with stress, overwhelm and anxiety during their lifetime.
What does stress and overwhelm feel like?
So, what do the symptoms of stress, overwhelm and anxiety actually feel like? These feelings can both physically and emotionally reveal themselves. You might experience different thoughts such as worry, nervousness or fear. Physically you may experience heart palpitations, digestive issues, sweating, nervous twitching, fidgeting or fast breathing to name a few!
It is not rare to experience more than one of these feelings both emotional and physical at the same time. It is also not rare for your mind to not completely comprehend that you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious.
A study was done in the U.S. to demonstrate heart rate variability. When asked if they felt ‘stressed’, 50% of participants answered yes and 50% answered no. Following this, the 50% of participants who said no were put through a physiological stress test and in actual fact, 90% were experiencing physiological stress in the body that was in line with disease and illness. Stress can be underlying, and their body can experience it without their mind even knowing. This proves the importance of recognising and discussing these thoughts and feelings.
What can we do?
You guessed it… talk about it! Talk to loved ones, talk to experts and really gain some awareness and some helpful ideas to help yourself, or to help a loved one who might come to you for help. Over 1,330,000 search results come up from the word stress. So clearly people have questions and want to find out more, and know they aren’t alone.
Self-help tools and techniques are great and professional help is always a go to, to really set yourself on a healthy pathway. Make sure you check out our other blog from Lisa, where she lets us in on 8 little-known hacks to help combat these emotions in a holistic and simple way, each day.
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