Myths abound when it comes to stress. What’s fact? What’s fiction?
First, here is the definition: Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension.
Second, separate the myths from the facts:
Myth: Stress is the same for everyone.
Fact: Everyone reacts to stress differently. Something that stresses one person may be an easy task to someone else.
Myth: Stress is always bad for you.
Fact: There are positive stresses too! Exercise is an excellent example of positive stress. However, just because it’s positive stress doesn’t mean you can’t get too much of a good thing. Move your body daily in a way that makes you feel good and rest when you feel the need. Aim for 10,000 steps per day as a rule regardless of whether you’re hitting a formal workout or not.
Myth: Only significant stress requires attention.
Fact: The little stressors add up and can wreak as much havoc as the major ones. The minor stressors don’t get as much attention as the big ones! All stresses are equal in the eyes of your body and it keeps score so make sure you’re giving yourself time to decompress in healthy ways, wind down properly and get true relaxation whenever possible.
Myth: No symptoms, no stress.
Fact: Again, it’s the cumulative effects of those little stressors that add up over time. Feeling run down, overwhelmed, and disorganized are often the first signs that stress is negatively impacting your life. The human body is the most resilient organism on the planet and we can withstand a lot, but that doesn’t mean everything is ok on the inside. Chronic stress causes digestive dysfunction, neurotransmitter dysfunction, hormonal imbalance, blood sugar dysregulation, muscle wasting, impaired sleep, increased cravings and unexplained weight gain. Those symptoms speak for themselves.
Myth: If you sleep well, exercise, and eat well, you won’t be stressed.
Fact: While I wish I could say this is true, it’s not, BUT adequate sleep, regular exercise, and eating whole, real food will HELP lower the physiological effects of stress. It just won’t eliminate stress entirely.
At the end of the day, stress is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it has to negatively impact your physical or mental health. Implementing these suggestions will significantly lower the stress load to your body.
If there’s more myths you want me to bust, just let me know!
Yours in Imperfect Action,