Stress Myths & Misunderstandings

Myth #1: Stress is the same for everybody.

Completely wrong. Stress is different for each of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another; each of us responds to stress in entirely different ways.

Myth #2: Stress is always bad for you.

According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. Wrong. The only time you have zero stress is when you're dead. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is keeping it under control. Controlled stress makes us productive and happy; uncontrolled stress can hurt or even kill you.

Myth #3: The most popular techniques for controlling stress are the best ones.

Again, not so. No universally effective stress control technique exists. We are all different; our lives are different; our situations are different; and our reactions are different. Only those stress management tools tailored to the individual's needs is going to work.

Myth #4: No symptoms, no stress.

Don't be fooled by this one. Absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of stress. In fact, camouflaging symptoms with medication may deprive you of the signals you need for reducing stress-related strain on your physiological and psychological systems.

Myth #5: Only major symptoms of stress require attention.

This myth assumes that the "minor" symptoms, such as headaches or heartburn, may be safely ignored. Wrong again. Minor symptoms of stress are the early warnings that your life is getting out of hand. They indicate that you need to do a better job of managing stress.

Myth #6: Stress is everywhere, so you can't do anything about it.

Wrong again. You can plan your life so stress doesn't overwhelm you. Effective planning involves setting priorities and working on simple problems first, solving them and going on to the more complex difficulties. When stress gets out of control, it's difficult to prioritize where you're going to devote your energies.

Does Your Stress Seem Out of Control?

The LIFELINE Program has a number of tools and resources available that might help you deal with any stresses in your life.  Call LIFELINE confidentially for help building an individualized plan that is right for you.  Call 24/7 at 1-800-284-7575.