Research — 10 November 2014

Australian women are experiencing higher levels of stress than men, according to research by psychologists.

The survey of 1,602 people shows that Australian men are doing better than women, with men reporting higher levels of wellbeing and lower levels of stress than their female counterparts.

The Stress and Wellbeing in Australia survey 2014 conducted by the Australian Psychological Society provides a yearly snapshot of the overall wellbeing of Australians.

The survey shows, for the first time, that the year was tougher for women than men.

Family and personal finance issues were identified as the leading sources of stress for both sexes, but these factors are having a greater effect on women.

More than half (53%) of Australian women cite personal financial issues as a major source of stress compared to just 44% of men.

More than half (52%) of all women reported family issues as a major source of stress compared to just 38 per cent of men.blogging-336375_1280

Lyn Littlefield, Executive Director of the Psychological Society, says identifying warning signs and triggers, establishing workable routines, keeping healthy, changing negative self-talk, practising relaxation and getting appropriate support are effective measures to manage stress.

“Talking about mental health is difficult for a lot of Australians,” Professor Littlefield says.

“National Psychology Week provides an opportunity to start a conversation, or encourage Australians who might be struggling to ask for help.

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or if you notice your stress levels are having a negative impact on your mental or physical health I encourage you to see a psychologist. Everyone needs help at some time, and it’s okay to ask for it.

Other significant findings of the survey, released at the start of National Psychology Week:

  • Australians with obesity reported significantly lower levels of overall wellbeing
  • Australians engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviours reported significantly lower levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms than those who were not
  • Older Australians (66+) continued to report significantly higher levels of wellbeing compared with other Australians;
  • Young adults (18-35) reported the highest levels of depression and anxiety symptoms

This article first appeared on ‘Business Insider Australia’ on 9 November 2014.

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