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News arrow Opinion arrow Columns arrow At the Helm: Stressing out about stress

At the Helm: Stressing out about stress Print E-mail
Written by Scott Graves, Pilot staff writer   
June 29, 2012 09:03 pm

 

“Men are less likely than women to believe that stress can have an impact on their health.”

I don’t know about you, but that statement stresses me out! 

And it’s the fault of the  American Psychological Association (APA)!

If the organization hadn’t sent me a press release saying that, my day would have been much more pleasant!

Just who do they think they are?! Coming in here and ...

Okay. Wait. ... Deep breaths. ... There. 

That’s better.

So exactly what is the APA, and why are they crushing my groove?

According to the APA website, the group is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States, with approximately 137,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.

It seems the APA did a recent online survey and found that men tend to report less stress and put less of an emphasis on the need to manage it than women.

Well, duh!

Any man knows that the best way to handle stress is to ignore it until it goes away. Sort of like a pimple on your ... well, you get the point.

Still, the APA insists on  encouraging men to consider their own stress, as it can “contribute to a strain on both their mental and physical health.”

I hadn’t noticed.

Although men are more likely than women to say they do enough to manage stress, in reality, their rate of stress-related illness appears to show that they’re not doing enough at all,” the APA claims.

The survey determined that men are “less likely than women to report using healthy stress management strategies, including reading (31 percent vs. 51 percent), spending time with family or friends (32 percent vs. 44 percent), praying (22 percent vs. 41 percent), going to religious services (17 percent vs. 24 percent), and seeing a mental health professional (1 percent vs. 5 percent). 

Aha! 

The truth of the press release comes out. It’s nothing but an insidious ploy to encourage people to make an appointment with a mental health expert. 

And I fell for it! Here I am putting information from their press release in this column for all my readers to see!

Darn! Now I’m not only stressed but steaming!

What does their little survey say about anger management!?

Argh!

... okay. Whew. Take a deep breath. ... There. 

That’s better.

Did I mention that the survey showed that an increasing number of men have been diagnoses with chronic physical illnesses, linked to high stress levels, such as high blood pressure and heart attacks?

“It is important that men take action to manage their stress in healthy ways to avoid chronic illnesses,” the APA press release states.

One of the first steps to reducing stress, the APA says, is to identify events or situations that trigger stressful feelings.

What a great idea!

I’m going to start reducing my stress right now. 

I’m going to crumpled up this APA press release and throwing it in the trash can.

Ahhhh.

Much better.

I’m starting to get my groove back already.

 

 

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