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
- Short temper
- Difficulty in concentration
- Job dissatisfaction
- Low Morale
- Upset stomach
- 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.