Most people, particularly women, experience stress when they feel like ‘they don’t have the ability to manage the demands happening throughout their lives.’ Stress can manifest in short term bursts, too. It’s most dangerous when it manifests in women for long term bursts, which ultimately starts negatively impacting their health.
Some of the most common associated symptoms of stress include tension, depression, memory and concentration problems, negative thoughts and frequent mood swings.
Behind stress and women
According to studies, women exhibit different physical and mental reactions to stress. On an individualized basis, women handle stress in different ways, meaning that while one woman may withdraw, another may develop severe physical symptoms.
Another study recently reported that ‘women are more likely [than men] to report the rise of their stress levels.’ In addition, they’re also more likely to report their physical and emotional symptoms of stress. Single and married women may also have differences in the way they manage stress, thanks to their different lifestyles.
Around 28 percent of women are more likely to report severe levels of stress—usually reported as a numerical value between 8 to 10. Half of women, in the same study, said that their ‘stress increased over the past five years.’ When compared to men, at least one in four women reported their experience with the matter.
Factors like money and work also affect how women manifest stress. At least 79 percent of women in the study, in fact, reported that ‘money and the economy were major sources of stress.’
Physical and emotional symptoms are also more common in women, with at least 40 percent reporting headaches, 44 percent reporting like ‘they could cry‘ and at least 32 percent reporting gastrointestinal problems.
Women, however, are coping with managing stress in their lives, an important fact to consider in terms of developing stress management strategies for women.
Are we managing or coping with stress?
No matter where they live or who they are, many women suffer from varying degrees of stress each day. Societal, financial and life-related factors all affect women around the world, which in turn, causes many to succumb to stress that forms out of a reaction to those factors.
Women of today have careers alongside their roles as caretakers of their homes and families. As a result, this dual role may foster many problems in the lives of many women.
Are we managing or coping with stress? Coping with stress is more or less dealing with stress. As mentioned by the study data, more women have started developing stress within the past five years. The correlation between this stress development and women relates back to societal factors.
For example, more women are working out of home, while managing their households. More women may be single, as a parent or on their own, and managing daily life. Some women are barely managing to adapt to being a working individual and a care-taking individual, while others find other ways to cope.
Regardless of the way they cope, many women are finding ways to manage such stress. Perhaps the most common way to help relieve stress is getting a well deserved break. It also involves stepping back from those ‘expectant roles’ and taking care of one’s self.
Staying mentally and physically healthy is important when managing and coping with stress. In fact, taking care of one’s self is something that all women should do.