A surprising number of myths and misconceptions about stress persist.
Stress Is More Than an Event
Some people think that stress is an event, something that just happens to them.
They believe that the amount of stress they experience depends on the number of crises they've been through in the past year. But there's more to stress than external events. Perhaps you know someone who has been through many crises, yet who has not succumbed to chronic stress. By the same token, there are many people who suffer from stress- related problems, yet have few crises in their lives. Clearly, events don't automatically result in stress.
Stress Is More Than Just a Physical Response
Others associate stress with their physical, behavioral, and emotional response to situations.
Yet two people facing the same crisis can respond differently--one can become stressed while the other remains calm. So there must be more to stress than an automatic physiological response.
Stress Is More Than Your Personality Type
Another popular view is that your personality influences the amount of stress you experience.
Researchers have identified various personality traits and styles that they consider to be more stress prone or stress resistant. Yet people who have the same personality type can still respond differently to stressors.
Your personality alone is not enough to predict how much stress you experience.
Stress Involves Your Thoughts
Psychologist Richard Lazarus changed the way in which we understand stress by pointing out that thoughts are an important part of the stress cycle.
We all interpret situations based on our previous experience and knowledge.
This is why different people can react differently to the same stress-provoking situation.