From diabetes to depression, the physical and mental effects of stress are very real. However, there are plenty of misconceptions about stress — and these can actually lead to more of it. Click through to learn some of the biggest myths.
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1.†Stress is Always a Bad Thing.
Stress isn’t always bad for you — what is bad is poorly managing your stress. Having stress is normal, and it can actually be lifesaving in dangerous situations. (Read more: Good Stress or Bad Stress?)
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2. Stress Motivates.
Did you get those taxes done on time because of your stress around it, or because you set goals and were engaged in a new project? It turns out that it’s the latter. Stress in itself is not the motivating factor.
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3. Stress Can Give you Ulcers.
While there are plenty of terrible conditions that we can get from stress, ulcers are not one of them. Doctors once thought that ulcers were caused by increased stomach acid when we’re stressed. However, what actually causes ulcers is a bacteria.
4. Don’t Have Any Symptoms of Stress? Don’t Worry!
You may not have any visible symptoms of stress, but that does’t mean you aren’t stressed — and aren’t experiencing ill affects because of it. It can actually be a bad thing, because you might not realize that you need to manage your stress.
5. Ease Your Stress with Some Alcohol.
Many people use alcohol as a crutch when they’re stressed. However, alcohol actually releases cortisol, the hormone in the brain that is released in stressful situations. In small doses, cortisol is fine; however, the more we release, the less often our body can relax in its “normal” state. This, in turn, leaves to chronic stress.
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6. Working Less will Decrease your Stress.
Don’t tell your boss about this one! Though it may seem like working fewer hours and taking more vacations will decrease your work-related stress, it actually has more to do with increasing your self-confidence on the job — something than can be achieved better by, yes, working more hours.