South Africans experience stress levels that make it difficult to cope – survey

by Tia

An international survey has shown that over 70 percent of South Africans have faced stress levels that make it difficult to cope with life’s demands and more than half have reported feeling so stressed that they were unable to attend work over the last year.

The Ipsos World Mental Health survey, based on three years of data from more than 23 000 participants across 31 countries, concentrated on the impacts of stress and depression on daily functioning. It revealed that stress is significantly affecting the workforce in South Africa.

Meanwhile, a separate report from UNICEF has revealed that at least 60 percent of young South Africans have required mental health assistance in the past year. Persistent obstacles highlighted include limited family discussions and uncertainty about where to seek aid.

Vanessa Ascencao

South Africa ranks among the highest globally in mental health disorders due to factors such as poverty, unemployment, social and political unrest, and trauma due to exposure from violence and abuse. Access to mental health professionals and resources are also limited.

Health expert Vanessa Ascencao emphasised the importance of mental health for overall well-being, noting that mental illness has been shown to impact physical health, relationships, livelihoods and quality of life, particularly among young people. She called on both the government and South Africans to prioritise mental health as a crucial component of overall health.

“Make mental health a priority through self-care practices like regular exercise, healthy eating, connecting with loved ones and adopting relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. Spend time in nature as it’s a powerful antidote to stress. If you’re managing a mental illness, stick to your treatment plan, identify triggers, and seek help when necessary,” said Ascencao.

“In the midst of life’s many challenges, establishing a support network and adopting strategies to manage obstacles are crucial for emotional balance and resilience. Consider incorporating high-quality, natural stress relief solutions such as Rescue Gummies, which contains five unique Bach flower essences developed by Dr Edward Bach in the 1930s to assist in coping with emotional overwhelm,” Ascencao added.

Dr Edward Bach, a renowned physician and homeopath, advocated for a holistic approach to health, emphasizing the importance of nurturing both the mind and body. He dedicated his life to studying the therapeutic properties of flowers and plants as powerful tools for enhancing emotional well-being. “Research shows that chewing can result in a significant reduction in anxiety. The Rescue Gummies are non-habit forming, delicious, easy to take on the go, vegan-friendly, gluten-free and contain no artificial flavours, sweeteners or synthetic dyes,” Ascencao said.

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