With so much information around stress available we have also posted a list of the myths surrounding the condition.
Six myths about stress
Six myths surround stress. Dispelling them enables us to understand our problems and then take action against them. Let's look at these myths.
Myth 1: 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 2: Stress is always bad for you.
According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. Wrong. 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 3: 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 4: 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. Only a comprehensive program tailored to the individual works.
Myth 5: 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.
Myth 6: 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.
Adapted from The Stress Solution by Lyle H. Miller, Ph.D., and Alma Dell Smith, Ph.D.
Stress Relief comes in many forms.
Although bringing a pet to work could come with practical difficulties, a trial at an American company suggested it improved people's job satisfaction.
Dog owners also reported that it reduced their feelings of stress, which previous studies suggest can lead to higher rates of absence and lower productivity.
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University studied 75 people at a manufacturing company where each day for a trial week 20 to 30 people were allowed to bring their dogs to work.
Using samples of saliva taken throughout the day they compared levels of stress hormones among people who brought in their pets, people who owned dogs but left them at home, and staff who did not have pets.
First thing in the morning there was no difference between the groups, but during the day stress levels declined among people who had their dogs by their side and increased among the other two groups.
Should I be allowed to bring my dog to work?
Having dogs in the workplace appeared to improve morale among all members of staff, regardless of whether their pets were present, the researchers reported in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.
Randolph Barker, who led the study, said: "The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms."