Stress is your body’s response to an overwhelming demand or pressure in your external environment. More often than not, stressors are brought about by unforeseen and uncontrolled situations in your surroundings, which greatly affect your own disposition or circumstances. Stress occurs when your physical body reacts to these situations and your body releases chemicals into your blood allowing you to experience “high” emotions and extra energy.
Unhealthy stress can make you look ugly, increase development of heart related illness, stroke and some forms of cancer, lowers your immune system, cause low concentration and inferior cognitive ability among others. Your ability to manage stress is dependent upon coping mechanisms that you need to employ. However, before instituting a stress management program, you first need to understand and clarify the meaning of stress in your life. Stress borne out of myths only makes your stress management mechanisms unmanageable and ineffective. Knowing true and false information about stress can help you decide on the proper actions against stressful thoughts as well as stressful situations.
Here are some common myths about stress.
- Stress is always bad. Wrong! Contrary to common beliefs, stress does not always produce negative results. In fact, physical stress can actually be relied upon at times of actual danger (also known as survival stress). The effects become bad when you allow unnecessary thoughts to worry your mind. More often than not, your worries cannot be resolved or there is nothing you can do about it. This may take form in an impending deadline which you know you will not be able to meet, a loved one’s illness or disease, problems at the workplace such as interpersonal relations, etc., financial matters and the like. More often than not, you let a situation become stressful when you choose to make it one.
- Stress cannot be avoided. Wrong! Stress is self-imposed. You let stress rule over your present circumstances for reasons ranging from poor planning of simple tasks up to mismanaging major areas in your life. Lifestyle choices matter greatly in managing your stress. If you maintain a balanced lifestyle, you provide ample time to plan your day; your week, your month and consecutively, your whole lifetime, therefore bad stress is avoided, except for those occasional instances of completely unforeseen developments. Inability to manage time is a major cause of stress. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, yet millions are suffering from stress due to lack of time management, causing more problems in their personal and work life.
- Stress happens to everyone. Wrong! There are a lot of people who lead stress-free lives. They are the ones who find calmness and relief despite unfortunate and difficult situations. It is important to understand that stress is merely a word people associate with feelings of fatigue, impatience, irritability, anxiety, anger, sadness among others to refer to a number of problems or difficulties one experiences. You tend to make excuses rather than find solutions. So, instead of asking what should you to eliminate stress, you need to ask what are the problems or difficulties that are causing your stresses. Write them down in a list and look for solutions for each situation. Sometimes, a situation that you consider a problem is not actually a problem, only that you are looking at it with a stressed and troubled mind.
You are responsible for your own stresses. And you are also the sole person responsible for avoiding and eliminating them in your life. Sometimes, all you need is to look at things in a positive perspective. You need to teach yourself to look at the brighter side of an unfortunate event rather than wallow in fatigue and self-pity. Lastly, be kind to yourself always.