Everyone experiences stress but the causes can vary. Research has shown that generation Y people (those born in the 1980s and 1990s) report much higher levels of stress and for different reasons than older Australians. Nevertheless, stress at any age is still stress, so the ways to manage it are the same.
What is stress?
Common signs of stress include disturbed sleep, sweating, appetite loss, muscle tension and difficulty concentrating. If stress lasts for a long time or overwhelms your coping abilities, it can have a negative impact on every aspect of your life, including your work, relationships, and physical and mental health.
Stress and gen Y
Recent research shows that young Australian adults belonging to generation Y are more stressed than the previous generation (generation X) and the baby boomers (people born during the post-World War II baby boom, between 1946 and 1964). They are also more likely to report mental health concerns than older Australians.
How to manage stress
One of the most important things is to address the source of stress, if possible. Try to deal with those problems that can be dealt with. Talk to others if you can – you may well have family and friends who are willing to help.
Other ways to reduce feelings of stress include:
- deep breathing, meditation and other relaxation techniques
- writing in a 'stress diary' to record when you feel stressed and why
- exercising regularly
- eating a healthy diet
- avoiding smoking, alcohol and caffeine
- doing things you enjoy regularly, such as listening to music, walking in nature, dancing and being with people who care about you.
You may also be able to help keep stress levels down by:
- recognising unhelpful sources of stress – including pressures you place on yourself – before they become a bigger problem
- thinking about where you could make changes to improve your situation and change the way you behave.
Last reviewed: June 2015