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Guide 20: Stress Myths
Guide 20: Stress Myths
Stress Diary Journal Your Guide
S tress M yths?
Several Myths surround stress. Dispelling them enables us to understand our problems and then take action against them. Myth #: 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 an entirely different way. Myth #: Stress is always bad for you. According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. But, Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it. Managed stress makes us productive and happy; mismanaged stress hurts and even kills us. Myth #: Stress is everywhere, so you can't do anything about it. Not so. You can plan your life so that stress does not overwhelm you. Effective planning involves setting priorities and working on simple problems first, solving them, and then going on to more complex difficulties. When stress is mismanaged, it's difficult to prioritize. All your problems seem to be equal and stress seems to be everywhere. Myth #: The most popular techniques for reducing stress are the best ones. Again, not so. No universally effective stress reduction techniques exist. We are all different, our lives are different, our situations are different, and our reactions are different. A unique awareness of the individual, their needs and strategies that addresses their needs in a holistic way, is appropriate Myth #: No symptoms, no stress. 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 the strain on your physiological and psychological systems.
> Stress is the same for everybody > Stress is always bad for you > Stress is everywhere, so you can’t do anything about it > The most popular techniques for reducing stress, are the best ones > No symptoms, No stress > Only major symptoms of stress require attention > Only high fliers get stressed > Stress relief techniques work universally for everyone
Myth #: Only major symptoms of stress require attention. This myth assumes that the "minor" symptoms, such as headaches or stomach acid, may be safely ignored. Minor symptoms of stress are the early warnings that your life is getting out of hand and that you need to do a better job of managing stress.
Myth #: Only high fliers get stressed. - If you have recently lost your job and are worried that you may not make the rent this month, you will know this is not true. Even the happiest events like the birth of a baby son or daughter often leaves the happiest of new mothers feeling pressured. Anyone can get stressed and at any stage of their lives.
Myth #: Stress relief techniques work universally for everyone. – Just because your best friend finds yoga deeply relaxing, and your sister feels at her most calm whilst pounding the streets at 6 a.m. on a 5-mile run, does not mean they will work for you. If you hate sports and your sister loves them, and if your best friend can tuck her feet behind her head and you have
‘Dispelling myths enables us to understand our stress problems and take action against them”
Work S tress M yths
the flexibility of a doorpost, you are not going to unwind and relax in the same ways. You have to find an effective stress relief technique which works for you. Myth #: Exercise eliminates stress. – No. You may very well feel more calm and relaxed after you have exercised (but see above), but if you are constantly being put upon, you will continue to be stressed until you learn to say “no” more often and/or delegate. The only way to reduce your stress is to tackle your stressors. Adapted from The Stress Solution by Lyle H. Miller, Ph.D., and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D. Original Source WORKSTRESS MYTHS Myth #1: Stress is normal, it means you’re important and it’s even good because it pushes you to perform Some people seem to think that if you’re not too busy, you’re not really crucial to the organization. These people revel in having full schedules, long working hours and too much work. But stress does not mean you matter. It either means that something is wrong at work or that you’re not doing a good enough job of matching your tasks to your time. Worse, it also means that you get less work done, because stressed people are less efficient, worse communicators and worse at making good decisions. To accept stress as a normal condition of work is bad for people and bad for business!
“ Workstress does not come from falling behind at work. It comes from how you feel about falling behind”
Myth #2: Stress is caused by working too much But then why do some people work 80 hours a week and feel great, while some people work 30 and get serious stress? Here’s why: Stress has nothing to do with the number of hours you work, and everything to do with how you feel during those hours. If you work 100 hours a week feeling great, having fun and taking pride in what you do, you won’t be stressed. If you work 30 hours a week feeling
inadequate, bullied or unappreciated you will be stressed. Myth #3: Stress is cured by working less Most workplaces react to stress by reducing employees’ workloads, responsibilities or working hours and in serious cases by giving people long sick leaves. According to Danish medical researcher Bo Netterstrøm who has studied workplace stress for 30 years, this is a mistake.
People hit by stress need to increase their capacity and confidence at work, and while time off from work can be necessary to treat the immediate symptoms of stress, a long absence from the workplace does exactly the opposite. When people return to the workplace, they’re even more vulnerable than before. Worse, some never return to work at all. Also, reducing work or leaving work temporarily doesn’t fix any underlying problems. When
employees return to work or to come from falling behind at “normal” work conditions, work. It comes from how you nothing has changed and the feel about falling behind. stress returns quickly. 2. In most businesses, people Myth #4: Stress is cured by will always be behind. There is simply too much work and finworking more “Yes, I’m a little stressed at ishing all your tasks simply work right now because we’re means getting assigned more falling behind. If I work really work. hard for a while I’ll catch up A temporary push to reduce a pile of work or meet a deadline and it will go away.” is fine. But all too often that temporary push becomes the No it won’t. For two reasons: new standard. 1. Workplace stress does not So the solution to stress is not
to work harder to catch up because in most workplaces this is impossible. The solution is to feel good about the work you finish, your achievement and not to get stressed about the work you don’t finish. It’s not that you should stop caring, it’s just that you should remember that being stressed makes you less productive, which means you get less work done and become more stressed. That’s a vicious circle right there and we need to break it.
The Stress Diaries we have available
The Stress Diary Journal This 4 week programme to complete stress mastery, is an invaluable tool to effectively manage your stress to gain insight and explore self understanding. The Stress Diary Journal allows you to record your daily stress incidents & to monitor these incidents and analyse them – on a daily basis, for a period of 4 weeks. Divided into 4 weekly sections for you to master your stress progressively and more competently, it helps you review your initial appraisals, stress responses, your reactions & to identify your stress triggers, to then restructure your thoughts, your attitude and subsequent behaviours. You will be able to easier identify negative behaviour patterns, to increase your stress awareness, to learn new coping skills and to let you adapt new & alternative strategies. You will learn renewed self management skills, inner control, effective goal setting, time management skills, to overcome obstacles and increased perseverance to complete set tasks and to instil newfound routines, competencies and behaviours. It helps you to know yourself and manage your life more completely. This is an invaluable tool to gain unique insight, explore self-understanding, learn stress management skills and effectively manage your stress – in 4 weeks!
With a purchase of any of these Diaries, you get full Stress Management Support @ www.stressdiaries.com
Stress Diary: Daily Recorder Journal A companion guide to the Stress Diary Journal in a handy size to carry about , and for you to easily record your daily stress entries. Each Stress entry is individually presented for ease of recording ‘on the go’ and to then transfer these entries to your Stress Diary Journal, or this Stress Diary: Reflection Journal, at the end of your day. Making remembering these Stress incidents/events much easier and keeping you in touch with managing your stress more effectively.
Get a FREE Relaxation Music MP3 ! With your purchase of any of these Stress Diary: Reflection Journal This Stress Reflection Diary Journal is a companion guide to the Stress Diary/Journal and used as an additional tool to further enhance your insight and understanding of your stress. You are to choose 1 significant Stress Entry per day, from your Stress Diary Journal for the length of your 4 week programme, that you may want to elaborate and focus on. Using the guideline questions and answer spaces that are provided, and you can add your personal notes or thoughts about your day or progress. Weekly summaries of your progress are included, to advance and monitor your progress and by answering these questions and adding your own observations, you will increase your skills at understand, managing your reactions and responses to your daily stress triggers and stressors. The Reflection Journal is an easy way to record and focus on how to reflect on your experiences and how you can learn from it.
Get these Stress Diary Journals at www.stressdiaries.com
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