One weekend I was doing chair massage at an event in the Georgia World Congress Center, and a woman and her 10 year old daughter came over. As they sat down to wait for their massages, they were arguing over who deserved the massage more.

The daughter insisted she was more “stressed out” than her mother. And the mother replied that the daughter “didn’t even know what stress was.” Finally they asked me to determine who won the “I’m more stressed” contest for the day based on who had the tightest muscles. And surprisingly...

it was the 10 year old daughter.

A lot of people just like the mother might assume, “what does a 10 year-old child know about stress?” This situation helps point out one of the biggest misconceptions about stress, which is:

Stress Misconception: The more responsibilities I have, the more stressed I am

Stress is not actually determined by external factors. It does not matter how many items are on your to-do lists or how many irritating people you encounter during the day.

Stress is really determined by your perception of what’s going on around you. When you perceive yourself to be stressed out and under a lot of pressure, then your mind, emotions, and body will follow suit into a stress response state. Not the other way around. Stress begins in your mind.

However, if you perceive yourself to be relaxed, peaceful and healthy, then your body will respond accordingly.

The good news is you can train your mind to adapt to stress. Trying to see the good in people and situations is not just the expression of a person with an optimistic personality. It’s better for your health and your muscles! Every time you’re annoyed, bothered, irritated, or frustrated, your body perceives these emotions as stress and it acts accordingly.

So what if someone cuts you off on the way to work, or your coworker says something inappropriate? Is your negative response to these or similar situations worth the pain your causing to your muscles and your body? Even more serious situations like lack of money don’t deserve our stress. When you’re stressed, all of your energy goes towards reacting to stress rather than thinking about creative solutions.

Next time something “stresses you out,” realize you are in control. You have the power to just let it go. Instead, focus your attention on something that is going to keep your shoulders down and back, your heart forward, and your muscles relaxed. Your body will thank you for it.

Author's Bio: 

Kyana Miner is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Energy Healer, and Sound Therapist. She has studied different healing modalities from all over the world. Kyana combines bodywork therapies with emotional release techniques to help people reach their optimal potential.

Studying healing for several years, Kyana has acquired certifications in Swedish, Deep Tissue/Neuromuscular Therapy, Reflexology, Sports, and Thai Massage. She also has additional training in Japanese Tui Na, Hot Stones, Qi Gong, Reiki, are Sound Therapy.