Virtually everyone has experienced stress at some point in their lives. Discover the truth behind these nine stress-related misconceptions.
Many individuals find stress to be a mystery with many varied definitions. One can feel and experience stress, as well as talk about difficult situations, but what exactly is stress in the medical sense?
Stress is an evolutionary response to life’s many demands and pressures, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Depending on the person, these stresses might be anything from extremely small to significant.
Facts about stress include the fact that it can originate from a person’s inner self or the outer world (extrinsic). Nine widespread misconceptions regarding stress must be dispelled to comprehend it better and how it affects individuals.
Myth 1: Everyone experiences stress the same way.
Fact: Everyone experiences stress differently.
What effects does stress have on various people? Sadly, the solution is not straightforward. Stress is very individualized and subjective. A source of stress for one individual could not affect them at all. There are various types of stress. the following stress categories
Typical stress is brought on by daily obligations, such as those related to jobs, school, and families.
Stress brought on by an abrupt change in circumstances, such as a divorce, job loss, or cancer diagnosis
Stress brought on by going through a terrible experience, such as a mass shooting or other type of calamity, among others
What effects does stress have? Stress’s effects are also highly subjective. Depending on the sort of stress, some people may be able to handle it better than others or recover more rapidly. Although there is no evidence to support this claim, heredity may have a role in stress resilience. In general, people find it easier to cope with regular stress than stress brought on by catastrophic events, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Myth #2: Stress is unavoidable and pervasive.
Fact: In many situations, stress may be avoided or handled.
It may be challenging to learn how to manage stress, and there are occasions when people are unable to do so, especially when external factors are involved. Avoiding stress might occasionally make it worse. Nonetheless, there are practical approaches to managing stress.
First, certain sources of stress may be avoided. For instance, college-aged individuals are notorious for starting assignments at the last minute. With good time management techniques and a prioritized list, this tendency that causes unneeded stress may be avoided.
People utilize a variety of efficient stress management techniques daily. Among these tactics include, but are not restricted to:
Understanding the appearance and symptoms of stress
having a network of support, such as friends, family, or coworkers
include medical experts in a support network
daily exercise, such as 30 minutes of brisk walking, can help lower stress
establishing precise, attainable, and quantifiable goals
setting aside time each day for leisure and mental wellness
Myth #3: Stress is never good.
Fact: Stress may occasionally be beneficial.
Is stress a positive thing? A person’s alertness and conduct and cognition can both be improved by certain amounts of stress. Those who are under too little stress may become depressed or bored. The duration of stress is what distinguishes between good and poor stress in an individual. Long-term or chronic stress can become crippling and have a bad impact on memory and other functions, but acute or short-term stress can be beneficial for people.
Myth #4: The absence of symptoms equates to the absence of stress.
Fact: A person is not necessarily not stressed just because they do not exhibit stress-related symptoms or indicators.
In certain people, stress can quickly manifest itself through behavioral changes or particularly after catastrophic occurrences. It could be exceedingly challenging to tell if someone is stressed based just on their conduct towards other people. These people probably seem normal and do a good job of concealing their stress, but they are likely mentally ill. Usually, mental and emotional reflections of stress are present.
Myth #5: Only serious stress symptoms need to be addressed.
Fact: All signs of stress, no matter how little, should be treated.
If symptoms of stress are not addressed, it can happen rapidly and becomes chronic. Several bodily issues are adversely correlated with chronic stress. Stress hormones affect how people feel from a physiological standpoint. An overabundance of stress hormones has been linked to changes in:
The immune system
The cardiovascular system
The endocrine system
The gastrointestinal system
To put it another way, even if a person only exhibits mild signs of stress, their body might still react to it. Behavioral counseling, prescription medication, and learning stress management methods are common treatments for stress.
Myth #6: Stress makes hair grey.
Fact: The reasons for grey hair do not just stress, in actuality.
The idea that excessive stress results in grey hair has persisted for a very long time. Unfortunately, the evidence does not back this claim. First of all, hair doesn’t just become grey. As individuals become older, less of the pigment that gives hair its color is generated.
Consequently, a person’s age and genetic propensity both have a significant role in the formation of grey hair.
Other conditions and elements that might result in grey hair include:
a vitamin shortage
Areata alopecia (hair loss)
low bone density
Hence, the research implies that stress may not even be a small contributor to the onset of grey hair.
Myth #7: Cancer is caused by stress.
Truth: A variety of things can cause cancer. Stress isn’t the only factor that contributes to cancer.
The National Cancer Institute claims that there are, at best, tenuous connections between stress and cancer. According to certain research, some psychological variables are associated with a higher chance of getting cancer. It should be noted, however, that just because a person’s risk of having an illness is higher does not indicate they will undoubtedly do so.
Yet, it’s likely that stress affects some tumors more indirectly by changing the immune system, which is responsible for battling cancer. So, even though studies have not yet shown whether stress causes cancer directly, its indirect effects on the growth of the disease should still be taken into account for cancer patients.
Myth #8: Stress may inspire people.
Fact: While stress might encourage certain people, the overall negative effects on health do not exceed the advantages of motivation.
Chinese community health professionals were questioned in a 2014 poll about their job satisfaction, motivation, and work-related stress. This study discovered that job satisfaction and work-related stress were negatively correlated using two separate indicators.
Acute stress, in particular, can be a motivating force for certain people. Acute stress boosts attentiveness and enables some people to complete things like reaching key deadlines. Acute stress episodes may also encourage people to work at their best and to come up with original solutions to issues. In these situations, using stress as a motivational factor is appropriate.
Chronic stress, on the other hand, is more of a burden than a motivator since it has long-term detrimental effects. The long-term disadvantages of chronic stress on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being exceed the advantages of acute stress.
Myth #9: Using alcohol as a stress reliever is a good idea.
Fact: Consuming alcohol might be even more destructive for a person attempting to cope with stress.
It makes sense to relax occasionally with a drink. Depending on the environment. For instance, when someone goes out for a drink with friends when they are worried, it is typically the experience of being with friends that helps them to decompress rather than the drink itself.
Problems may occur if someone drinks at home to relax or to help them fall asleep. The fact that alcohol affects the brain regions in charge of judgment and balance is one reason why it shouldn’t be used to reduce stress.
A person may also find it easier to fall asleep after one or two drinks, but if REM sleep cycles are disturbed, they may wake up frequently or too early in the night. It’s important to find alternative stress-relieving techniques than booze and narcotics.