Stress is a part of our lives and there’s no getting around it. But as much as we all live with it, many of us misunderstand some of the basics about stress and its role in our lives. Why does this matter?
Stress has been indicted in many research studies in exacerbating very real physical illnesses — everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease. Reducing stress can not only help you feel better, but also live a longer, disease-free life.
Let’s look at some of the common myths surrounding stress.
Myth 1: Stress is the same for everybody.
Stress is not the same for everybody, nor does everyone experience stress in the same way. Stress is different for each and every one of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another; each of us responds to stress in an entirely different way.
For instance, some people may get stressed out paying the monthly bills every month, while for others such a task isn’t stressful at all. Some get stressed out by high pressure at work, while others may thrive on it.
Myth 2: Stress is always bad for you.
According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. But this is wrong — stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps.
Stress in and of itself is not bad (especially in small amounts). So while stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life, the key is to understand how best to manage it. Managing stress makes us productive and happy, while mismanaging it may hurt us and cause us to fail or become even more stressed.
Myth 3: Stress is everywhere, so you can’t do anything about it.
So is the possibility of getting into an automobile accident every time we get into our cars, but we don’t allow that to stop us from driving.