After a survey that was released a while ago at my Pilates studio I was really surprised to find the results were very different to what I expected.
The main reason people were attending my studios was to relieve stress or assist with depression or anxiety. Wow I had no idea. So I then started to research the best way to help my clients relieve some of this stress and also look at some of the reasons people were so stressed in today’s society.
The top 3 Reasons that come back from this survey we completed were:
Busy Life – so many people said they felt the pressure to be places, doing things with their lives constantly. The pressure of adding the extra thing that week, have their house in perfect condition, work longer hours and travelling too and from work. Creating a social image that others would see as being fun but in the mean time are exhausted keeping up. The pressure of having things done on time all the time and no time in general to chill out. No time to be bored – Feeling in demand all the time. With no time left for me.
Mental Illness – after researching this I found these statistics and was intrigued. Has it always been this high? Why are we experiencing this level of Mental illness in such a “lucky” country to live in. – I guess it could be due to the first finding “Busy Life” and “full of expectations” to keep up with everything.
- In each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness.
- About 4% of people will experience a major depressive episode in a 12-month period, with 5% of women and 3% of men affected.
- Approximately 14 % of Australians will be affected by an anxiety disorder in any 12-month period.
- Women are more likely than men to seek help for anxiety disorders (18% compared with 11%) and mood disorders (7.1% compared with 5.3%).
- A national survey showed that 35% of people with a mental disorder had used a health service and 29% consulted a GP within the 12 months before the survey.
- Women are more likely than men to use services for mental health problems.
- See more at: http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-mental-illness/facts-and-stats#sthash.zXGMJXv3.dpu
Conforming to the rules – Money, money & more money the cost of living and pressure on families to again conform to societies rules and regulations are consistently increasing. This starts from parenting – how we bring up our children and what is deemed appropriate and then schooling and the expectations or being at certain levels – what happened to it being ok if you were not good at everything, but you were good at something that is possibly unique to you. The pressure to go on to study more and become something in life and how important it was to have that all figured out by the time you were 17 years old. The job market – getting a job that seemed more important or more valued rather then having a job you enjoy and were passionate about. When getting to middle age feeling the pressure to have your life mapped out like a road trip easy smooth and no bumps along the way – totally unrealistic and Again PRESSURE
So I wanted to share with you some ways to reduce stress that I know work for me:
1. Slow down – so take off your list each week one item – remove it. No one will know if you took one thing off your schedule. Other then you. Its ok. Shove it on next weeks list and guess what remove something from that list every Sunday night.
2. Sit in your favourite spot – sit without a phone or device and watch and listen – do nothing else even if its only for 10 minutes. Watch the waves come in on the beach, or sun rise or set, or maybe even listen to birds in your garden. Just simply stop for a moment.
3. Appreciate – we can all get a little less appreciative of things we do have in our lives as we are busy. But each day appreciate one thing you have – it can be a pet, a friend or family member – or it could be that you have a great book to read that night or maybe you did Pilates that day. We can all find at least one thing.
4. Breathe – No punt intended I know I’m a Pilates instructor and I do a lot of breathing daily. But this works – every day you feel stress coming into your body start to breathe. The beauty of this is you can do it anywhere for free anytime of the day. Fill your body with oxygen.
5. Exercise – Ok so you knew it was coming, exercise helps reduce stress – and its not just me that raves about it – ask any health professional or your GP but here is some more information about the endorphins it releases and other good feel benefits from Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469
6. Meditate – same thing really – so lay on your back on a firm surface eg your Pilates mat, and close your eyes in a quiet space – and focus on your breathe – start small maybe for 3 – 5 minutes daily and build your time from there. – But what Im asking you to do here is just be still for a bit no shopping lists, no schedules, no running to this or that appointment. Just be still.
7. Eat Well – a healthy diet full of fresh vegetables, fruit and legumes is going to make you naturally feel better – start from the inside out – we often emotionally eat try and avoid doing this – change one habit a week eg if you drink 5 glasses of coke each week – change it to sparkling water or just water.
8. Sleep – Are you becoming a night owl – and feel tired all the time – set a reminder alarm at night so you know to turn the tv off or put your device down. We need between 7-9 hours a night. Are you getting this? Read more about sleep here; https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
So here are my tips I hope you start to use some of these to help reduce your whirlwind of a day. If you’re struggling with stress and want to use Pilates and Yoga like many of our clients to assist you to reduce your stress in your day. Jump online: www.pilatesfit.com.au and book your intro to Pilates session or go straight into Yoga classes at either of our studios.
NOTE: Lifeline WA is also a not for profit organisation to assist you in times of crisis if you need help it is available. Phone 13 11 14 http://www.lifelinewa.org.au/
We also highly recommend seeing your GP for any assistance with managing your mental health or wellbeing.
Our friends at Coogee Chiropractic are running a free stress clinic Thursday 30th March at 6.30pm Contact to book directly on 94345555