Dr. Suzy Green Stress Triggers Interview

Dr. Suzy Green Stress Triggers Interview

New Research Reveals the Nation's Stress Levels and Main Triggers

When it comes to daily stresses and what drives Australians to distraction, lack of sleep, rude people, traffic and waiting in queues are among some of the highest ranking triggers.

In fact, lack of sleep was the highest, with fifty per cent of 1,000 Aussies surveyed saying this is the highest contributor to feeling stressed, closely followed by people being rude (35 per cent) and traffic (30 per cent).

The survey, commissioned by leading fuel retailer BP, supports further findings that 34per cent of petrol and convenience customers are fed up with waiting in queues.

And with the mass adoption of technology, with smartphone penetration in Australia being one of the highest worldwide at 84 per cent, BP is leading the charge to make the lives of their customers just that little bit easier.

Launching BPme, the ground breaking fuel payment app that allows customers to pay for fuel using their smartphone from the comfort of their car, BP recognises there are more important things in life than waiting in lines.

While daily stresses may not seem significant at the time, according to clinical and coaching psychologist and Founder of the Positivity Institute, Dr. Suzy Green, it's these ongoing stresses that can have the biggest effect and largest impact on overall life satisfaction.

"Studies have found that daily hassles can have more of an effect on our health and wellbeing than major life events," said Dr. Suzy.

"What many people don't understand is that, while money and extra time seem to be the best way to solve stressful issues, a few easy lifestyle changes can really contribute to reducing daily hassles and result in a much happier life," Dr. Suzy adds.

With Australia claiming one of the highest 'tap & go' and pay wave rates in developed markets, BPme is the next progression of mobile payment. The innovative app will put technology at the customers' fingertips, changing the way they interact and pay for fuel in the future. Available to Apple and Android smartphones with the latest operating system, BPme can be used in over 500 (and rising) BP stations across the country, from the comfort of your car.

By selecting the pump number, refueling and processing the transaction from the app, BPme users can now skip waiting in queues when refueling - terrific for busy tradies or for those who have kids (or event their dogs!) in the car.

Along with integrating new technology and apps like BPme to help skip avoidable stresses, Dr Suzy has established three simple and achievable daily 'uplift' methods for Aussies wanting to de-stress and simplify their life:

Switch from 'time-management' to 'self-management'
We can never really manage time, but we can manage ourselves within the time that's available to us. Every day we have different priorities, so try to identify the daily hassles you can control, versus the ones you cannot.

Prioritise sleep as the foundation of a stress-free life
Sleep is as important as food and water to living a healthy and satisfied life. As recognised in the research, lack of sleep is the number one daily stressor for many Australians, and yet it's easy to influence through routine. This includes (but of course is not limited to) ceasing use of electronic devices before sleep, removing all technology from the bedroom, and using wind down techniques such as yoga or a hot shower.

Get on the front-foot with your finances
Finances are certainly one factor we do have some control over through small and achievable goals. Speak with a financial professional and leverage personal experiences from family and friends who can offer a wealth of free support.

Other key research findings:

Women experienced daily hassles more frequently than men, tending to attribute the cause of stress to themselves. Men were more likely to blame external factors
Older Australians aged 50 plus identified external factors as stress contributors more often than their younger counterparts (18 to 34)
One in four women said a cleaner would help in relieving daily stress

Overall, both men and women identified having more money for a less stressful life (36 per cent), followed by less costly bills (15 per cent) and more holidays (10per cent)

Commenting on BPme, Adam Arnold, General Manager, Marketing and Retail Offer Development, BP said "We understand that our customers seek quick and easy solutions to help relieve their already busy and stressful lives. This is why we listened to our customers and worked closely with our global product and innovation teams to launch BPme. This innovative app puts technology at our customers' fingertips and changes the way they interact with us"

From today, BPme is free to download on any Apple or Android device at participating BP sites across the country.
To find out more about BPme, simply head to bp.com.au/bpme or download the BPme app today.


Interview with Dr. Suzy Green, Founder of the Positivity Institute

Question: What are the top stress triggers?

Dr. Suzy Green: Whilst lack of sleep and personal finances were identified as the top stress triggers there were also daily hassles identified such as traffic and rude people that also affected rising stress levels. The most interesting finding from the survey was that many people identified lack sleep as a cause of stress rather than realising that in most cases it is a consequence of stress!


Question: How do these stresses impact our overall life satisfaction?

Dr. Suzy Green: Whilst most of us realise that major life events such as losing a job or a loved have a big impact on our wellbeing and overall life satisfaction, research tells us that what's known as the 'daily hassles' (the small, unexpected events that disrupt daily life) such as traffic and commuting can have more of an effect on our health and wellbeing than the major events.


Question: How can we manage these stresses?

Dr. Suzy Green: Whilst the research suggested that most people believe having more money (or a lover!) is the answer to all their problems and the greatest stress relief, unfortunately research doesn't support that.

Whilst having enough money to eat and live is definitely important, its factors like prioritising our relationships and other daily activities we engage in that has the greatest impact on our wellbeing. Making some small changes such as prioritising micro-breaks during the day to get outside, go for a lunchtime walk and connect with people and nature is some of the most powerful ways to manage stress and boost your mood.


Question: Are you surprised that 34% of us are triggered when waiting in the queue to get petrol?

Dr. Suzy Green: No absolutely not. Most people are in a rush to get to work, home from work, and collect kids from school, sport etc. A queue really tests our patience and highlights the amount of stress we're experiencing. Just like a car, our stress response is meant to idle and only kick in when we're in danger, not when we're standing in a queue! Finding ways to streamline your life to minimise queues will definitely assist in reducing stress and in improving overall quality of life.


Question: What do you like about the BPme app?

Dr. Suzy Green: It's definitely a time saving tool and I would argue a lifesaving tool for those who are looking for simple strategies to minimise and streamline their lives.


Question: Can you share your advice for someone who has set 'stress less" as their 2018 intention?

Dr. Suzy Green: Here's my top 3 stress-less strategies (or 'daily uplifts') that science has shown will definitely help you have a stress-less approach to 2018!

Switch from 'time-management' to 'self-management'.
We can never really manage time, but we can manage ourselves within the time that's available to us. Every day we have different priorities, so try to identify the daily hassles you can control, versus the ones you cannot.

For example is it possible to work flexibly and remove some of the stressful commuting? And when it comes to the ones that you may not be able to change completely, stay optimistic as you may be able to positively influence them a little more than you thought. For example, responding calmly and kindly to rudeness might in fact lead to the person feeling embarrassed and apologetic about their behaviour whereas a 'reactive' response from you, may only inflate their rude behaviour!

Prioritise sleep as a foundation of a stress-less life.
Sleep is as important as food and water to living a healthy and satisfied life. As recognised in the research, lack of sleep is the number one daily stressor for many Australians, and yet it's easy to influence through routine. This includes (but of course is not limited to) ceasing use of electronic devices before sleep, removing all technology from the bedroom, and using wind down techniques such as yoga or a hot shower.

Get on the front-foot with your finances.
Finances are definitely one factor we do have some control over. Whilst it may not be as easy as getting a better paid job tomorrow, you can start making progress towards that goal by identifying the knowledge or skills gap you might need to fill that could lead to another role with a better pay rate that eases the financial load.

And don't think you should be ashamed or need to manage your financial challenges yourself. So many people wait too long before seeking assistance. Speak with a financial professional and leverage personal experiences from family and friends who can offer a wealth of free support.


Question: What is the Positivity Institute?

Dr. Suzy Green: The Positivity Institute (PI) is a positively deviant organisation dedicated to increasing world-wide well-being. We utilise the science of positive psychology to create flourishing lives, schools and workplaces. PI also loves to share the latest scientific research on psychological well-being with the broader community by being an expert voice in the media.


Interview by Brooke Hunter

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