Date posted: 2/08/2018 4 min read

Is being too busy affecting your health?

Are you finding it hard to fit everything in? We look at the adverse effects of busy life on our health and reveal simple changes to lower your stress

In Brief

  • Understand the adverse effects of stress on our health
  • Learn six simple changes you can make to lower your stress and reclaim control
  • You are too busy when you feel overwhelmed and even small tasks seem too big

Brought to you by HCF

If you feel like you’ve got too much on your plate, you’re not the only one.

According to the Australian Psychological Society, one in four Australians reported “above normal” levels of anxiety symptoms in 2015.

How stress affects you

 

You’re too busy when you feel overwhelmed, you are no longer feeling enjoyment and even small tasks feel too difficult
Dr Christina Ross  dietitian atCultivate Nutrition 

 

While a small amount of stress can increase our motivation and efficiency for completing a task, too much can place a strain on both our physical and mental health. But what happens when we don’t get a break? According to accredited practising dietician Christina Ross from Cultivate Nutrition in Sydney, this fast-paced lifestyle leaves our body in constant ‘fight or flight’ mode and our health takes a hit.

“Over time and without any relief, this chronic stress response can damage our arteries, weaken our immune system, cause fatigue and promote low-grade inflammation throughout the body, which all contribute to an increased risk of hypertension, heart attack and stroke.”

So how do you know if you’ve got too much on your plate? “You’re too busy when you feel overwhelmed, you are no longer feeling enjoyment and even small tasks feel too difficult,” says Ross.

Getting back in control

* Turn off technology: turn off all technology an hour before bed and for an entire day each week.

* Choose wholefoods: stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut – bacteria which play a role in our immune health. “Choose wholegrains, lean proteins and a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables like beetroot, asparagus and sweet corn, which are rich in prebiotics,” says Ross. ·       

* Look after yourself: help yourself get back on track after a stressful event by allocating some time to relax, recuperate and recharge.

* Practise relaxation: according to Ross, relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and yoga are great techniques to help reduce stress. Finding as little as five minutes a day could be all you need to feel more in control.

* Exercise each day: exercise is a well-known stress buster – it boosts levels of endorphins, boosts mood and improves sleep. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day.

* Reframe your perspective: When Harvard researchers gave a group a stressful test, they found that those who were told that stress was “functional and adaptive” managed their stress responses better. 

At HCF, we want you to get the most out of your life. So we’ve designed a range of health support and wellbeing programs to help you make a positive change and be your healthiest self. For more information, please clickhere. As a CA ANZ member, you can also access a great range of additional benefits when you join HCF as a corporate member. To learn about the full benefits, please visit charteredaccountants.hcf.com.au

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