Life can be quite stressful especially if you live in a populous city like Lagos. From the minute you wake up, you are bound to be confronted with one type of stress-inducing situation or the other. From mind-blowing traffic jams to noisy environments, it is not surprising that a lot of Nigerians suffer from stress-related illnesses like heart disease and stroke.
We have come to believe that stress is an inevitable part of life and we need to manage it using stress relief techniques. This belief is one of the root causes of stress and it’s time to debunk these myths about stress relief so we can begin to effectively deal with stress.
Myth #1 – We have to live with stress because it’s part of life
Stress is not inevitable. If it was, how would you explain why some people are able to live successful stress-free lives? A stressful situation for one person may cause another person to experience little or no stress. It all comes down to how we respond to problems and challenges. You can plan your life in such a way that stress does not overwhelm you. Yes, it’s possible. With effective planning, dealing with simple problems first and then moving on to more complex problems, you can begin to reduce your stress levels significantly.
Myth #2 – A little bit of stress is good for the body
This myth is based on the belief that some degree of stress is needed for us to be creative. Proponents of this myth say it is unhealthy and somewhat impossible to live a stress free life. This is very wrong. You don’t need any measure of stress to be productive and there is no such thing as good or healthy stress. Therefore much of the pain and suffering most people endure all in the name of good stress is uncalled for. You can eliminate any negative emotion within you and the so called ‘good stress’ without having any negative impact on your health and productivity. When stress is not handled properly, we leave room for stress to hurt and even kill us.
Myth #3 – Stress is like a disease
Many people have a very poor understanding of what stress really is and this affects how they are able to deal with it. We have come to believe that stress is like a disease we can deal with directly. When people talk about being stressed what they really mean is that there issues which are troubling them and therefore causes them to feel stressed. So instead of seeking for how to deal with stress, we need to tackle the things that cause stress in our lives. You need to know the exact problems and situations that are troubling you and figure out how to deal with them to reduce stress.
Myth #5 – The best way to manage stress is to use relaxation techniques
Instead of dealing with stress head on, we are encouraged to just manage it. This reflects the belief that stress is inevitable (Myth #1). The problem with managing stress is that it allows the real causes of stress to persist. Yes, doing yoga and meditating may help you reduce your stress levels but they won’t help you to identify the root cause of stress on your life. This makes them an ineffective means of dealing with stress in the long run. There is also no universal stress technique that works for everyone. It is better to have a comprehensive program tailored to suit your needs which may or may not include these stress reduction techniques.
Armed with this new knowledge about stress, you can begin your journey to living a life free of stress.