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The Top 8 Stress Myths

There's a lot of shenanigans when it comes to stress information. Let's set the record straight... stress is universal,there are good and bad forms of stress, and you CAN do things to actively manage your stress.
Author: Ronnie Nijmeh,

1. All stress is good for you.

Some stress can be managed in a way that is positive, however there is a misconception that we need stress to be able to be productive at work or successful in our careers. While the occasional bout of acute stress won't do any lasting harm, chronic stress can damage our bodies.

2. Only people who ________ get stressed or burned out.

You can fill in that blank with a lot of things: work night shifts, are weak, are in stressful high-paying jobs, are worriers, have Type-A personalities... The list goes on, but this is a myth. It can happen to anyone. You. Me. Anyone. There is no singular type of person who gets stressed or burned out. Quit thinking that it can't happen to you because you have a low-key style or because you aren't in a particular profession.

3. If I exercise and eat right my stress will go away.

We always recommend a healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise and a proper diet can go a long way in helping to curtail the symptoms of stress, but unfortunately it is not the only solution. To treat stress you need to treat the root cause of stress -- this means learning how to deal with what makes you stressed and your reaction to stressful situations.

4. The most popular ways of reducing the signs of stress (breathing techniques etc.) will work for me.

Not necessarily. We are all unique -- with our own individual challenges, situations, and reactions. There is no singular universal stress reduction technique that will work for each and every individual. You may find that you have to try several before finding what works best for you.

5. Get over it. There's nothing you can do about stress.

There is a lot you can do. In addition to the usual methods of treating the symptoms of stress (exercise, meditation, breathing techniques, getting a good night's sleep), you need to treat the root cause of your stress. This could be to learn to set priorities, manage your time, or improve your communication skills to be able to express yourself clearly or deal with troublesome people more effectively. Tune into the reasons behind your stress triggers.

6. I feel fine, so I'm not stressed!!

An absence of symptoms does not mean an absence of stress. Many adults aren't very good at reading the signs our bodies send us. We'll often chalk up a sore neck or tight back muscles to having "slept the wrong way" or a headache as the result of staring at a computer screen all day. Listen to your body's early warning signs, and don't just assume these little signals are not stress related. It's a sign that you need to start managing your stress levels NOW.

7. If I work less hours or take a leave of absence from my job, I'll cure my stress.

It's not only the amount of hours we work in a day that causes stress, it is how we feel during those hours. While taking a holiday or a leave of absence can remove you from the situation and relieve the symptoms of stress, it doesn't change your working conditions and your ability to cope with stress.

8. Stress is fabulous. It keeps me thin.

If you need stress to keep your weight down, perhaps you should reconsider your health regime. We agree that "positive stress" -- excitement or a sense of anticipation -- can be a great tool in life. However, negative stress, the type that keeps us on edge and interferes with our desire to eat, is never healthy.

Link used with permission of author Ronnie Nijmeh,

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