Women stress more
Studies and surveys show women report feeling higher levels of stress than men do.
In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, not only do women report feeling more stressed than men, they also report that their stress levels have continued to rise over the last 5 years.
This is not good news for women, as the effects of stress on women’s health and well being is something to be concerned about.
Rather than cite the grim facts of how harmful chronic stress can be, let’s examine a couple of reasons why stress may affect women so much more than men.
#1-Women tend to be worriers.
Why is that? Perhaps due to their nurturing nature, women want to protect and take care of their family, friends and even acquaintances. They want all to be well. They want to take care of everyone!
Unfortunately, this can backfire on them as they use their very powerful imaginations to run the gamut of possible negative scenarios in their lives.
They feel they have no control over any of these scenarios, which leads to distress.
#2-Women put themselves at the bottom of the “care” list!
While women’s nature to be nurturing and caring is a positive characteristic, it can also be the source of their stress. When women want to take care of everyone they often find they have no time for caring for themselves.
This is stressful.
It causes fatigue, overwhelm, and resentful feelings among other problems. It can lead to using food for comfort, which can lead to weight gain, which can lead to low self esteem and powerlessness.
Get Relief Tools
It’s important to have a set of tools available so you can get relief from your stress.
It’s also important to be proactive in preventing chronic stress as well.
Here are 3 Tips to get relief and begin to cultivate more ongoing inner calm, instead of ongoing stress!
Worrying is using your imagination in a negative way.
Say “Stop” to yourself. See a big red STOP sign.
Say “Delete” to yourself. See the delete button on your computer.
This breaks up the constant looping of those negative worrying thoughts!
Instead, write down all the concerns you have.
Get them out of your head.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to get present and stop future projecting about things you have no idea will happen.
Breathe into your heart and focus on your breathing only.
This allows you to connect within, feel calm and stop all those worrisome thoughts very quickly!
Set up boundaries.
Learn how to say “NO,” instead of always saying yes to others’ requests.
When you cut back on your “yeses,” you get to be in charge of your life, instead of letting external circumstances be in charge.
When you set up boundaries for yourself, you are showing yourself you care about you. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary.
Saying no can be one of the most challenging words for many women. We’re taught at a very young age to be nice, polite and agreeable.
You can still be nice, polite and agree you need some time for self care!
Spend time with friends.
Spending time with friends is very important for women. It feeds women’s souls/spirits. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time and you don’t want to over schedule in this arena either.
But, when you take the time to be with friends, you are giving yourself a gift of connection. Women are by nature are bonders and connectors.
Women reported in an American Psychological Association how important friends are to them, yet they weren’t taking the time to connect.
So, call or email a friend or two. Set up a date to get together and just “be” with one another.
You could even walk and talk, as exercise is another great stress reliever!
You’ll feel refreshed and renewed after your time together.
If you start with just one of these tools, you will be on the path of elevating yourself from the bottom of the list.
Choose a new one each week and see how much more calm, relieved and in charge of your life you feel.
All this and much more will be covered in my book on stress relief for women who take care of everyone but themselves.
Watch for more tips, articles and information about the book over the next 4-6 months!
What tools do you use to manage your stress and get relief? Share your solutions below!