Busy schedules and pressures at work and home, and now Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown measures have meant that stress has become a regular and almost expected part of life.
However, ignoring stress and the feeling of constantly feeling under pressure has potentially damaging health consequences, including high blood pressure, which is reportedly one of the leading causes, globally, of death and disability.1
New research commissioned by Priceline Pharmacy2 shows that while 95% of Australian women experience stress – 20% experiencing it multiple times a day – only 59% have consulted a healthcare professional for help with stress management.
The research also shows that 15% don’t even know who to ask for help.
Priceline Pharmacist Jeyda Shiaxiates says it is no surprise that such a large percentage of women are feeling the pressure of life, but the lack of knowledge around its health impact is concerning.
“The research found that most women recognise that stress has an impact on health but only half knew that stress reduces your body’s immune response and only 47% were aware that stress impacts heart health,” says Ms Shiaxiates.
“With heart disease the second highest cause of death among Australian, this is a concern.”
Recognising stress triggers
While the triggers for stress are different for everyone, it’s important to recognise what these are for you, individually, and how you can keep these under control – and this is where seeing a healthcare professional (to determine your triggers) can help.
The next important thing is to remember that excessive, chronic stress shouldn’t be a normal or expected part of life.
“We all need to stop seeing stress as normal and encourage more people to feel comfortable speaking with their doctor or pharmacists about how best to manage what is a very common [yet] potentially dangerous health issue,” says Ms Shiaxiates.
Stress test station
In response to these findings, Priceline Pharmacy has set up health stations conveniently located on the pharmacy floor, which now include a medically reviewed stress test to help customers better manage and monitor stress.
“Severe, persistent stress can take a toll on your body and brain over time,” explains General Practitioner and new Priceline Pharmacy Health Expert, Dr Preeya Alexander.
“Stress can contribute to several health issues such as migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.”
Dr Alexander says that with stress management, the goal isn’t necessarily to get rid of stress completely “but rather to manage it”.
“Along with simple lifestyle changes (such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake) speaking with a health professional like a pharmacist or GP can definitely help,” she adds.
So, if you’re concerned about your stress levels and the impact they are having on your health, make sure you visit your local Priceline Pharmacy and try the stress test health station.
- Mayo Clinic, Hypertension, 2020.
- Research by YouGov, commissioned by Priceline Pharmacy, 2020. The sample comprised a nationally representative sample 1,000 Australian women aged 18+ years and older.