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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

5 myths about stress busted

ANI  Washington, April 01, 2013
First Published: 18:45 IST(1/4/2013) | Last Updated: 19:28 IST(1/4/2013)

Stress is apparently everywhere and we dealt with it at almost area of life, but too much of it can be hazardous to our health, according to experts.

Life coaches talk about working toward emotional fitness, as if we can perform Pilates on our psyches. But some ideas about stress and its risks are not correct, the Washington Post reported.

Dana Becker, a professor of social work at Bryn Mawr College and the author of “One Nation Under Stress: The Trouble With Stress as an Idea”, has busted some of the myths about stress.

First myth is that getting enough sleep, exercising and eating right can reduce stress. But the fact is that though taking care of ourselves can help us feel good, but it won’t come close to mitigating stress.

It is important not to neglect the cause of stress.

Second myth is that stress makes people more vulnerable to illness. But according to psychology professors Suzanne Segerstrom and Gregory Milleranalyzed, who studied more than 300 studies on stress and immune system functioning, the immune system is extremely flexible and can handle even fairly large amounts of stress without going out of whack.

They said that stress can produce fairly dramatic changes in the immune system without necessarily causing people to get sick.

Third myth states that most people exposed to traumatic events develop post-traumatic stress disorder. But most people who have been through traumatic events don’t develop Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although about 60 percent of U.S. adults say that they have had at least one traumatic experience, the average prevalence of PTSD is between 6.8 percent and 7.8 percent.

Forth myth is that men and women respond to stress differently because of genetic and hormonal differences, in fact it can be said about gender differences in stress response that women and men act differently when they are under stress.

But, West Virginia University epidemiologist Sarah Knox has found that this isn’t the same as saying that men and women have different hormonal responses.

Fifth myth states that if women learn to cope better with stress, they’ll be able to resolve work-family conflict, but work and family aren’t having a conflict; it’s work and workplace policies, work and limited child-care options that are at odds.

Becker said that if we stop treating stress as the problem to be solved and instead work for the kinds of social and political changes that will benefit women, men and children, maybe then we can find a real solution for women’s “stress.”


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