October 25, 2009

Recently there seems to be a proliferation of Mythbusting articles . Relationship myths, fitness myths, financial myths - and the area I gravitate towards the most: medical myths.

Last week I saw an article that stated: "Myth: drinking water is good for you" Is this really necessary? I'm sure there are some down sides to drinking too much water - for instance, when on a plane and the 'fasten seatbelt' light is on. But really, how bad can it be?

One area of myth-busting that no one has touched on - well-being myths.

I've decided to make up a list of my own.

Going out for a walk will cheer you up

I'm not so sure. Research shows that a person is likely to feel more alienated and alone when they witness others whose lives have worked out. Going outside, this is a danger. Outside is filled with people who appear well adjusted and capable of getting on with their lives. It presents a multitude of situations where a depressed person can experience increased levels of inadequacy. A walk in the park is particularly dangerous. Happy couples often hang out in parks. Not to mention it's the worst place for allergies.

Your wedding day is the happiest day of your life

Let's look at the facts. One of three marriages will end in divorce. The day itself is often anxiety-ridden and if it's a big wedding: expensive and stressful. As the bride or the groom you'll be wondering if you're making a tragic mistake and most likely, you will be.

Also, if your wedding day really IS the happiest day of your life, then what is there to look forward to? By the end of the night you realize the happiest you'll ever be is now behind you.

Sleeping all day will do no good

How wrong is this? Totally. Studies have shown the more sleep we get, the better we function. Why stop at 8 hours? When all you want to do is shut out the world, sleeping the day away is a blissful solution. You're numbing yourself without binging, drinking, injecting drugs, or hurting others. The only down side is waking up mid-afternoon and realizing you haven't yet slept through the entire day.

A related myth: Sleeping will make you look rested. Don't expect to wake up after 18 hours and suddenly look like Heidi Klum.

Your misery is caused by lack of exercise

It's true exercise releases endorphins. But, as any miserable person will tell you, it's finding a reason to exercise - that's the problem. When someone feels like a loser, just getting dressed feels like an accomplishment. Where's the motivation to work out? To look good sleeping?

Your ex will be supportive

It depends on how in love with you your ex still is. If he or she has moved on and met someone new, you're on your own. A phone call is a good test. Usually when an ex is supportive they'll take your call. But, if you've been the type to break down in the past, they might take a few days before responding. There is no exact science to how long it will take them to get in touch however if there has been no response within two months, assume they are no longer interested in you, your pain, or your problems.

You're exactly where you are supposed to be

What if I'm on a bridge about to jump? The idea that there is some grand design implies that if you're in a bad place, clearly that's meant to be. You don't want to be there and yet, you are. Why? Because it's where you belong. Fate condemns you to your lot in life. What a comfort.

A related myth: Your time will come. Lethal. Either you're waiting for it to happen or even worse, it hits you: it's happened.