It has often been shown that women are the worriers and often do not make time to manage their health and take care of themselves. The infographic below shows what effects stress can have on women and offers effective strategies that can help them reduce the negative effects of everyday stressors.
Stress is on the rise for women as they struggle to find a balance between their homes and careers. Read below to recognize the signs of stress, and what you can do to combat it.
WHY ARE WOMEN STRESSED?
The work load is rising for women. Due to the current recession, this has caused a greater need for women to work outside the home to support their families. Women who work to contribute to their family's income has increased by 9% (38% in 1988 and 47% in 2009).
Women are more stressed than men. Women report feeling higher levels of stress. Average stress levels rates on a 10-point scale showed that men scored an average score of 4.6, and women scored an average score of 5.3 (7% more than men).
Stress can lead to these health effects:
Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke. Women who experience high levels of stress were 40% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Hair loss. Significant emotional or psychological stress can cause a physiological imbalance, leading to hair loss.
Poor Digestion. Prolonged stress can increase stomach acid, causing indigestion and discomfort and in some cases IBS and ulcers.
Depression. Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression. Extreme stress can be a trigger for depression.
Irregular Periods. Stress can alter the body’s hormone balance, which can lead to missed, late, or irregular periods.
Reduced Sex Drive. Major life changes that cause stress, or prolonged stress, can lower libido. Elevated levels of cortisol suppress the body’s natural sex hormones.
Acne Breakouts. Raised cortisol can cause excess oil production, leading to more breakouts.
Weight Gain. High levels of cortisol are linked to more weight around the belly area, and a decreased metabolism.
Insomnia. Stress is a common cause of insomnia. Tossing and turning at night can lead to many sleepless nights.
HOW CAN YOU COMBAT STRESS?
How to manage your stress:
Practice Relaxation. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or listening to soothing music can help reduce stress levels.
Eat Healthy. Eat heart healthy food ands well-balanced meals. Avoid overeating processed, salty, or sugary foods.
Calm Your Mind. Excessive worrying neve helps a stressful situation. Accept the thigs you cannot change and focus on what you want instead of dwell on the past.
Enjoy Nature. Try to make time for the outdoors. A walk in the fresh air surrounded by beautiful nature can do wonders for your stress.
Quality Time. Spend time with the ones you love. Feelings of guilt can be overwhelming when you know you are not getting enough time with your children or significant other. Make it a priority.
Get Enough Sleep. It can be tough to get enough sleep with a busy schedule. Strive for at least 6-8 hours each night to keep your stress levels at bay.
TRY THIS EXERCISE TO RELAX YOUR MIND AND RE-ENERGIZE?
Practice steps one and two together for a minute or so and see how you feel. This technique is especially useful when you start to feel stress. Practice using it as soon as you start to feel stressful emotions to keep them from escalating into something worse.
Step 1: Heart-Focused Breathing
Image you are breathing through your heart or chest area. Putting your attention here helps you center yourself and get coherent. Take slow, deep breaths.
Suggestions: Inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 5 seconds – or whatever is comfortable for you.
Step 2: Activate a Positive Feeling
Recall how it felt when you were appreciated or when you felt appreciation for something or someone. Or you can focus on a calm, neutral feeling.
Learn the HeartMath Quick Coherence and more techniques with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf. Schedule a session at: www.lifeesteem.com/contact