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7 Popular Myths On Reducing Stress That Actually Make It Worse!

Marianne Williamson, a popular American author and spiritual teacher once said, "The number one root of all illness, as we know, is stress".

Most of us can agree with this statement, as we may have witnessed over the years, that people who are under a lot of stress, usually become the victim of a number of other diseases also!

Numerous research studies, statistics and scientific evidences collected, also state that, stress can trigger a whole array of diseases in people, both psychological and physiological.

Normally, most people tend to think that, stress can only cause mental ailments like depression or anxiety.

However, even physiological ailments such as obesity, digestive problems, low immunity and even certain types of cancers are all linked to stress, among various other major diseases.

So, it is very important for all of us to make a conscious effort to manage stress and do everything we can to avoid stress.

Now, there are various tips everywhere, about how one can reduce stress. Not all of them are true and effective.

In fact, many of these tips are just myths, which can actually make your stress levels worse!

So, here are a few myths on reducing stress, which can make the problem worse:

1. Distracting Yourself With TV

2. Re-Analysing Stressful Situations

3. Ignoring Stress

4. Over Sharing

5. Eating Comfort Food

6. Smoking Cigarettes

7. Distraction Through Social Media

1. Distracting Yourself With TV

Many a times, friends and family, or even certain tips in the magazines or blogs advice people to distract oneself from stressful thoughts by watching TV, movies, etc. While distraction is a great way to bust stress, it works well only when it is a healthy, productive distraction, such as developing a hobby, exercising, etc.

Watching TV can only make a person procrastinate and get lazy, further causing anxiety and more stress about putting off work and of having wasted time!

2. Re-analysing Stressful Situations

When a person is extremely stressed out about a particular situation, it could cause a lot of confusion and anxiousness. So, usually such people are advised to sit back and re-analyse the situation, make a list of pros and cons and so on, about that stressful situation, thinking that they would find solutions.

However, constantly re-analysing stressful situations and thinking about them can only make matters worse and increase your stress levels!

3. Ignoring Stress

We just read that paying too much attention to stressful situations by re-analysing them constantly can worsen stress. On the other hand, completely ignoring certain situations that are causing stress is also not good!

One must address problems and try to work on resolving them, but a balance between thinking about it too much and completely ignoring it must be found. Ignoring stressful situations completely may lead to complicated situations that cause more stress, later on!

4. Over Sharing Your Problems

While talking to your close ones or your therapist about your stress or the causes of your stress can help reduce stress, as you feel lighter after sharing, over sharing your problems with many people may only make your stress worse.

Not everyone may empathise with your problems, some people may get judgemental or rude, making your stress even worse!

5. Eating Comfort Food

A lot of us may feel that seeking solace in yummy, but unhealthy foods, such as pizza, chocolates, chips, etc., is alright once in a while, when you are stressed, as these comfort foods make you feel better temporarily, because they increase the endorphin levels in your brain.

However, in the long run, depending on comfort food to reduce stress can only double your stress, as these foods can also increase the cortisol hormone levels in the body, which is the stress hormone! Not to mention, the other health hazards of eating unhealthy foods!

6. Smoking Cigarettes

It has been estimated by research studies that, a vast majority of people, use stress as an excuse to smoke cigarettes, as they believe that smoking can help them reduce stress.

However, as we know, smoking can cause serious damage to our system, both physically and mentally, including increasing the cortisol levels in the body to worsen stress. In addition, all the health effects that come along with smoking can also be a cause for stress!

7. Distraction Through Social Media

Many of us these days, in the age of social media, turn to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the likes to keep us distracted from stressful situations, just like how some people depend on TV.

However, research studies have shown that social media can only worsen stress, as there are a number of posts on social media which could evoke negative emotions like jealousy, disappointment and loneliness among people.

Story first published: Monday, July 23, 2018, 21:00 [IST]
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