FARM FORUM

Have your say about key issues affecting Australia's rural landscape:
What stresses you most?

Stress activates the body’s ‘fight or flight’ instinct and the resulting rush of hormones through the body can be harmful. To cope with stress effectively, you need a twopronged approach. Firstly, you need to deal with the things that are causing you stress. Secondly, you need to come up with ways to handle the unavoidable stress.

One way to do this is to take particular note of the things that stress you, considering why they stress you and how you usually react. This can help you discover your ‘stress triggers’, which can help you eliminate them or manage them better. For example, you may be able to avoid that type of stress by changing the situation or avoiding certain people.

If you can’t eliminate the stress, you can learn to deal with it moreeffectively. Some tips include not trying to control the uncontrollable, looking for the silver lining and talking to someone. Exercise can be particularly helpful because it helps dissipate those ‘fight or flight’ hormones. Something as simple as calling a friend, playing with a pet or engaging in a hobby like gardening can also be effective.

Dos and don’ts of stress management

DO:

- Talk to someone about what’s stressing you, whether it’s a friend or your doctor;

- Face what’s stressing you and work on ways to solve the problem;

- Connect with others and create a strong support network around yourself.

DON’T:

- Turn to drugs or alcohol;

- Withdraw from friends, family or activities;

- Procrastinate;

- Lash out at others.