Don’t Fall For These Stress Myths

Some people seem to suffer stress constantly, others hardly at all.  Everyone’s reaction to it is as unique as a fingerprint.


And for anyone wanting to find easy to do effective stress relief techniques which can be used for the longer or short term, the internet is a great resource.  Just go online and type “effective stress relief” into the search box of your favorite browser and see what comes up.


But…


…there is also a lot of misinformation about stress and stress relief too.  And you need to make sure that you know what is real and what is not.  Stress is a killer. Don’t fall for a myth and end up ignoring your stress. 


With that in mind, here are my top four stress myths: 


1. Only high fliers get stressed.  –  If you have recently lost your job and are worried that you may not make the rent this month, you will know this is not true.  Even the happiest events like the birth of a baby son or daughter often leaves the happiest of new mothers feeling pressured.


Anyone can get stressed and at any stage of their lives. 


2. Stress relief techniques work universally for everyone. – Just because your best friend finds yoga deeply relaxing, and your sister feels at her most calm whilst pounding the streets at 6 a.m. on a 5-mile run, does not mean they will work for you.


If you hate sports and your sister loves them, and if your best friend can tuck her feet behind her head and you have the flexibility of a doorpost, you are not going to unwind and relax in the same ways. You have to find an effective stress relief technique which works for you.


3. Exercise eliminates stress. – No. You may very well feel more calm and relaxed after you have exercised (but see above), but if you are constantly being put upon, you will continue to be stressed until you learn to say “no” more often and/or delegate.


The only way to reduce your stress is to tackle your stressors.

 

4. Using stress accommodating strategies means you are not stressed. – No. People under stress often use strategies to accommodate their stress.  For example, working longer hours to get through their workload, missing sessions at the gym as a result, getting home later, unwinding with a glass of wine and getting to bed late.  Accommodation strategies actually compound your stress.


Do not mistake stress accommodating strategies for stress management strategies.


You can hear more detailed thoughts on these issues here:


Four Stress Myths


Of course there are many more myths about stress and stress relief mechanisms that are bandied around but these are very important ones I wanted to highlight.  Please leave a comment with yours.