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Dangerous Stress Myths

Stress Myths Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

There are many myths about stress. Some of them based on your personal experiences, articles you have read, or something you saw in the media. Dangerous stress myths can affect your health, longevity, and happiness.

5 Common Stress Myths

Stress is Unavoidable

This is a fatalist concept and one that is not true. The key to avoiding stress is to know your stress triggers. Become aware of events, people or experiences that trigger a strong stress response. Write them down. Discuss them with your friends, partner, or therapist so you can get support and help identifying them. Either avoid these triggers or learn how to manage your stress by learning stress reduction practices so you can learn how to become stress resilient. Research shows chronic stress can have severe health consequences.

Stress and Anxiety Are the Same

Stress and anxiety are not the same thing. Stress is a response to a threat. Stress is acute, in a short-term event, or it is chronic, a long-term situation. Anxiety is your response to chronic, long term stress. Anxiety is a psychological disorder. This is when you worry all the time, can’t think clearly or sleep. Anxiety is like a psychological cancer eating at your sense of serenity and confidence.

Stress is a Positive Driver for Success

There is negative stress and positive stress. Negative stress, when you experience fight or flight, physical or mental problems, is not a motivator. When you can look forward to an event with excitement, and experience this stress as a challenge, we call this eustress. Eustress is positive stress. This is a good motivator, but negative chronic stress is a serious health concern.

Drinking Will Help Your Stress

Our culture has historically shown in movies, the media, and in books, people grabbing a drink to reduce their stress. Drinking not only does not reduce stress it actually produces greater stress in your body.

NIH Research shows drinking actually fuels your stress. Alcohol stimulates the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Alcohol changes the chemistry in the brain.

Stress is the Same for Everyone

Many of us don’t have a great amount of compassion for others stress levels. We may say, “just get over it.” It is important to know that each of us experiences stress differently. About half of your stress response is inherited and the other is dependent on your past and present environment. Some people are more stress resilient than others. Individuals may get physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, GI problems or chronic pain. Others may have psychological symptoms such as anger, fear, worry, volatility or withdrawal.

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