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3 Rumors About Stress

preteen boy looking stressed Ever hear a rumor -- something that isn’t true? A tall tale? A fake fact? A lie? Well, there are rumors out there about stress.

So why do you care? Stress feels bad. Stress can also make it hard to make smart, healthy choices. It can be hard to think when you’ve got worries on your mind. But when you know the truth about stress, you can make healthy choices and stop stress. So let's bust some rumors about stress!

Rumor #1) Adults don’t stress. They have it all figured out.

Wrong! This one is totally fake. Relax, everybody stresses. It’s normal. It isn’t just you.

Stress is what you feel when you're worried or have way too much to do. Kids and adults all feel that way sometimes. When you feel stress, your body gets tense and your mind feels like it could explode.

That might sound bad, but a little stress is OK now and then. Like if you're trying to score in a big game or sitting down to take a test. A little stress might help you do well.

But too much stress, or handling stress in unhealthy ways, is another story. Too much stress can make your mind and your body feel bad. When you’re stressed it can be hard to think clearly. That can make it harder to make healthy choices. Too much stress can also make you gain unhealthy weight. Stress can even make you sick.

That's why you should know the signs of being stressed. When you’re stressed you may:

  • Feel upset, nervous, mad, or annoyed
  • Start to feel bad -- you might get a headache or your stomach may hurt
  • Eat too much
  • Have trouble sleeping

Those last two -- eating too much and not getting enough sleep -- are ways stress can make you gain unhealthy weight. Stress tricks your body into thinking it's hungry. You may crave junk food. Don’t fall for it! If you’re really hungry, pick a healthy snack like fruit.

Rumor #2) There's nothing you can do about stress.

Not true! While stress is a normal part of life, there are lots of things you can do to feel better

  • Run, bike, or take a walk -- anything that gets you up and moving around can help, even if you don’t feel like it. Moving gets your mind off how you feel and makes muscles relax. 
  • Talk to a friend or adult. They can help you find ways to feel better and maybe get rid of some of the things in your life that make you feel bad.
  • Take deep breaths. It brings oxygen to your muscles and calms your body, helping you relax.

It's also really important to get enough sleep to fight stress. You need about 10 hours of sleep a night to feel your best. So even though you’re stressed, try to go to bed on time. Having a bedtime routine -- like a bath, soft music, and stretching -- can help get your body and mind ready for a good night's sleep.