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.


Stress Relief – Just Do It

Stress is largely a matter of perception.  That does not mean that you do not have real physical responses.  The stress fight or flight response is very real.  Rather the way you interpret stress is subjective and varies from one person to another.  You can change your stress levels by changing the way you perceive things.  However, what if you no longer notice it?  How can you change your perception of stress if you are so used to living with it that you no longer realise it is there? 


If this is you (and it is probably most of us), then you need to take steps to manage stress on an ongoing basis.  Stress kills.  Forget about it, ignore it, get used to living with high levels of it and you are setting yourself up for serious health problems.    


If you ignored your car for years, you would not be surprised when it started to break down, would you?  Thought not!


So why expect your mind and body to perform optimally when they are bombarded with high levels of stress over a long time and you do nothing about it?  YOU may have become unaware of your stress, but your body has not.  Never forget stress kills.


But there is a problem (or should I say excuse?)  Stress management programs are typically time consuming, expensive one-off events which get you all fired up and motivated.  You may even have to travel out of town to attend them.  Your commitment to stress reduction at the time, is unquestioned.  But after a while, your motivation dwindles and you lapse back into your old lifestyle.  Stress starts to build again. 


So do it differently. Commit to stress reduction.  Really commit.  If you do not reduce your stress levels, no-one will.  And if you are half hearted about stress relief, don’t waste your time starting.  Much better you keep on just as you are and become less and less efficient in your current life until a heart attack or stroke forces you to take an alternative lifestyle.  Assuming you survive that is…


Or you could take stress relief seriously.  Manage it effectively and you will get better control of your time, be more productive and ultimately happier.  Why not start by downloading my
free stress relief tips ebook?


Stress relief.  Just do it.