Everyone deals with stress in different ways, but according to a new study by the Australian Psychological Society, most Australians cope with stress using positive methods.

The organisation just released the results from is fifth national Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey, finding that most of us Aussies use positive thinking or watch TV to cope with stress.

According to Executive Director of the Australian Psychological Society, Professor Lyn Littlefield, by doing things like watching TV or movies you can switch your mind onto focusing on the story, rather than your problems.

“Stress is a part of our lives. The skill – or the resilience – is learning how to deal with them, and resolve them,” she told ABC News.

“Things like really sharing what you are worried about with a good friend or with a family member, that’s very supportive. All those things help you share the load or switch off.”

According to the study these are the top five causes of stress and the top five ways of managing it:

Top five causes of stress

  1. Personal finances
  2. Family issues
  3. Personal health
  4. Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  5. Issues with the health of others close to us

Other stresses included workplace issues, relationships, the economy, the political climate, mental health, friendship issues, environment issues, study and personal safety.

Top five ways of managing stress

  1. Watching television or movies
  2. Focusing on the positives
  3. Spending time with friends and family
  4. Listening to music
  5. Reading

According to the study, there has also been an increase over the last five years in stress management behaviours such as eating, using social media, playing video games, doing something relaxing (like going to a spa) and findings also showed one in five people gamble to reduce stress.

Although most of the people surveyed used positive methods to deal with stress, Professor Littlefield says the people with the highest levels of stress tended to use more unhealthy methods of relaxing like drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs.

“Don’t just sweep (your problems) under the carpet. Really get some help and talk and problem solve how you can deal with it,” she says.

How do you deal with stress?