Anxiety, Stress and Overwhelm in the Modern Day!

Anxiety, Stress and Overwhelm in the Modern Day!

One quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime.

Affective disorders (such as Depression) have been the most common diagnosed mental health disorder for many years

However, some recent studies are finding Anxiety disorders to be fast becoming the most prevalent diagnosed mental health disorder. 

I have definitely witness this increase in the number of clients presenting with anxiety in my clinic. 

And many more who are experiencing high levels of stress and overwhelm and are at risk of burnout.

Many presentations of anxiety are now occurring in high functioning individuals, who continue to maintain their employment and function, however, experience significant levels of anxiety and stress, impacting their life and are at risk of burnout.

I am often asked WHY? 

Why are we experiencing increasing levels of anxiety, stress and overwhelm?

I honestly believe it is due to a number of factors.

Our society has seen rapid change and development over the last two decades, arguably more than any previous time in history. 

We are now more accessible than ever. We are busier than ever. We multitask more than ever. We have higher expectations of ourselves and others. Anxiety, Stress and Overwhelm in the Modern Age!

And our brain and body can not keep up with this new way of living. 

We have forgotten how to stop, pause, and be… without our devices, without all the busyness. The busyness that we now wear like a badge of honour. 

Before mobile phones ….. we would stop at a stop light and pause, look around, notice the trees, listen to the music. Now, we pick up our phone… we text, check emails or socials, we busy ourselves.

I see a profound change in our cognitive, emotional and behavioural state all born from anxiety, stress and expectations to be more. Often, integrating small behavioural habits and cognitive change can lead to significant positive change in emotional state and wellness. e.g Mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing, time management and cognitive flexibility.

Melissa Johnson
Psychologist | Mindset Coach | Speaker

Melissa Johnson, Principal Psychologist and Director of Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic, a private psychology clinic based in Buddina in the heart of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, QLD. Melissa has extensive experience  treating a full range of clinical conditions including: anxiety, depression, bipolar, trauma and PTSD, obsessive disorders and pain management.  She has a particular interest working with families in the perinatal period who are trying to conceive, progressing through pregnancy and adjusting to  a new born baby.  And with busy professionals experiencing chronic stress and anxiety, burnout and struggling to establish the elusive work life harmony. If you would like to book an appointment with Melissa you can call our clinic on P: 0428 088 671 or email on

Take Ten Breaths!

Take 10 Breaths

Practicing to breathe effectively can be extremely beneficial in times of stress and anxiety. Why? Because re-regulating the breath helps to communicate to the brain that we are not under threat. This helps to “turn off” the fight and flight survival mechanism responsible for the stress / anxiety response. Once this is switched off we can then engage our frontal lobes, helping us to problem solve and think logically. However, it’s best to practice daily. Even if it’s just ten breaths a day.


1. Take ten slow, deep breaths. Focus on breathing out as slowly as possible until the lungs are empty – allow them to refill by themselves
2. Notice the sensation of your lungs emptying, notice them refilling, notice your rib cage rising and falling
3. allow your thoughts to come and go as if they are cars passing by
4. Expand your awareness: notice your breathing and your body. Then look around and notice what you can see, hear, smell, touch and feel

Reference: Russ Harriss


Melissa Johnson

Principal Psychologist/ Director

Thriving Minds Psychology Clinic