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Six myths about stress

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


The many roles you play as a small business owner can make life quite stressful. For you to be able to manage your stress appropriately, we debunk six common misperceptions about stress.

Dispelling the myths around stress enables us to understand our problems and then take action against them, so that stress does not become a hurdle to your company's success.

Myth 1: Stress is the same for everybody.

Wrong! Stress is different for everyone. What is stressful for one person may or may not be for another; each of us responds to stress in an entirely different way.

Myth 2: Stress is always bad for you.

This means that no stress makes us happy and healthy, right? Wrong again. There is such a thing as good stress; a new relationship, a lucrative business deal, etc. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue is how to handle it. Managed stress makes us productive and happy; mismanaged stress hurts and even kills us.

Myth 3: Stress is part of life, so you can't do anything about it.

Not so. You can plan your life so that stress does not overwhelm you. This involves setting priorities; solving simple problems first and then going on to more complex issues. Without the proper planning, all your problems seem equal and stress seems to be everywhere.

Myth 4: The most popular techniques for reducing stress are the best ones.

Unfortunately, there is no one universally effective stress reduction technique. We are all different, our lives, situations are different and our reactions are different. Only a comprehensive programme tailored to the individual works.

Myth 5: No symptoms, no stress.

The absence of symptoms doesn't mean your don't have stress. In fact, camouflaging symptoms with medication, alcohol or other vices may deprive you of the signals you need for reducing the toll on your body and mind.

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. So listen to what your body is tell you and take action.

You are probably not the only one in your company who is stressed out, so share some of these tips with your employees and may you may just see staff morale and productivity increasing.

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