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Four Myths of Stress 

There are many misconceptions and outright myths that have arisen related to stress.  Frequently, we hear that stress is bad for you and that we all get stressed out over things like work, traffic etc.  Also, we are frequently hearing that stress is in epidemic proportions in today's society.  But, it is it?  Do we need to get stronger as individuals and as a society to combat stress?  Are we just weak?  Below are four of the most common myths about stress, and what we currently know about the phenomenon of stress and stress management. 

  1. All stress is bad for you.

Absolutely not: We have to respond to changes in the world that inevitably involve some level of stress.  Without stress, we probably wouldn't be able to cope with life's challenges and problems.  Also, without some level of stress in our lives, we will probably never feel the satisfaction of overcoming problems and mastering challenges that come into our lives. 

 

  1. Everyone gets stressed out about the same things such as traffic, overwork and noise.

No, this is simply not true: Although many of these stressors may be annoying to some or most people, the extent to which individuals feel stressed by them is very different.  We respond to our experiences in very different, individual ways, including things that others may feel to be stressful.  Some people adapt very well to certain types of stress and become used to it, while others may find the slightest annoyance to be too much to handle. 

  1. People who complain about stress are just weak.

Obviously this is untrue: Contemporary research continues to demonstrate that stress genuinely affects mental and physical health.  Excessive stress should be dealt with promptly before it creates serious health problems.  If you are feeling too much stress in your life you may need to contact your doctor or a mental health professional. But, the way that stress is experienced differently by different individuals is no reflection on their level of strength or weakness. 

  1. Stress is epidemic in our society today.

Not true: Stress has always been a natural part of the human condition, and there has always been a certain amount of suffering involved. Some experts believe that people actually faced greater stress in the past than they do today.  In Western society at least, hunger, war, serious overwork, poor health and so on were much more prevalent in the past than they are in contemporary society.  People today are now much more conscious of stress as an issue in their lives. They hear or read about stress more and this has raised their awareness. 

Some information from Readers Digest Making The Most of Your Brain

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

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