Stress Affects Women’s Health

Stress can happen to anyone of us. A variety of reasons influence stress – either it can be due to traumatic accident, death or an emergency. It can also be the side effect of a sudden or prolonged illness. Workplace, home, family responsibilities, child upbringing, traffic, arguments with spouse, the situations of stress for a woman are multiple and hard to evade. Therefore, keeping calm and de-stressing becomes so much of a challenge for a woman.

Early Signs Of Stress

There are many symptoms of illness when it comes to stress. Common symptoms include:

- Sleep disorders

- Headache

- Short temper

- Difficulty in concentration

- Job dissatisfaction

- Depression

- Low Morale

- Anxiety

- Upset stomach

- Forgetfulness

- Drug and alcohol misuse

- Loss of interest in things

Reacting To Stress

Some researchers are of the opinion that women handle stress in two ways – “Tend” (meaning protect and care for their children) and “Befriend” (where women seek out social support from their female friends). In fact, woman’s bodies make chemicals such as oxytocin which brings a calming effect during stress. The estrogen hormone in women boosts the effects of oxytocin.

Stress Impact on Health

Stress is not a simple thing. There is short term stress (as simple as getting lost while driving) and long tern stress (example, a divorce or long-term illness). Let’s see how stress affects women:

- Headaches: When you are stressed, muscles tense up. This can lead to headache, and migraine. Tension-type headaches are common in women.

- Depression: Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder as compared to men.

- Heart problems: Stress levels when high can raise the blood pressure and heart rate. Over a period, high blood pressure can cause health problems, such as stroke and heart attacks.

- Obesity: Stress increases the amount of cortisol hormone in your body, which can lead to overeating and therefore obesity.

- Menstrual cycle problems: Women who experience long-term stress may have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, or irregular periods.

- Upset stomach: Diarrhea and vomiting are the fallouts of short-term stress whereas long-term stress can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Stress during pregnancy can cause pregnancy-related discomforts like body aches, trouble in sleeping. It can also affect the baby’s development, if not attended to on time.

How To Manage Stress

That’s not a challenge as it may seem. The following corrective steps will help in tackling stress in a positive way:

- Take deep breaths

- Stretch. This will relax your muscles and male you feel less tense

- Take time for yourself

- Get enough sleep, 7 to 9 hours, on an average basis

- Eat right (more of greens) and limit the intake of caffeine and high-sugar snack foods

- Do physical activity. This helps improve the mood and relax your muscles.

- Talk to friends and family members

- Meditate as it helps lower stress

Hope you found this article on stress management helpful. Do follow it and share it with your loved ones.