Saying that stress and anxiety impact women differently than men is no cliché or exaggeration.
While we’re all susceptible, women are more sensitive and more reluctant to admit that something is wrong or that life sometimes requires more of us than we can give.
According to the American Psychological Association, women are up to 28% more likely than men to suffer from stress, anxiety, and even depression.
A biological pattern that makes us more sensitive to these events often hides behind that data.
However, psychologists remind us that the woman’s role in today’s world places quite a bit of weight on her shoulders.
We often combine professional work with caring for family. So working inside and outside the house, along with the many pressures of society, makes us feel like we’ve reached the end of our rope.
Now, there’s another aspect we can’t neglect.
It’s true that women are more sensitive to stres and anxiety, but men are the ones that manage it worse and are impacted in the form of heart attack.
We should all be aware of the signs. However, today we’d like to give you 5 basic guidelines to manage stress and anxiety better if you are a woman.
1. Remember: you don’t have to prove anything to anyone
Women have higher levels of stress due to their work responsibilities.
Whether we believe it or not, sexism still exists in our society.
Many women are forced daily to prove that they can do the same work and take on the same responsibility as their male colleagues.
Likewise, a large percentage of them also juggle caring for their children, figuring out schedules, fulfilling family obligations, keeping up a social life, and doing housework…
It’s not easy, especially because the idea that we should be “able to do everything for everyone” is so prevalent.
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Thus it is always a good idea to remember and reflect on the following aspects.
- There’s no reason to obsessively prove that we’re equally –or more– competent than our male colleagues.
- The best thing to do is to focus on doing things how you know to do them, as your position requires, and always giving the best of yourself.
Don’t try to compare yourself to anyone, find your own excellence, and you’ll feel much better.
2. Remember your priorities; they may not be the same as everybody else’s
The world tells us to go fast, be perfect, be successful, meet your goals, be a good mother, good daughter, excellent wife, and best friend.
Ok then… what do YOU want?
We live in a society that now tells us what we should be and what is expected of us just for being the gender that we are.
- Freeing yourself from these social chains, the stereotypes, and the biases that put us in boxes will not be easy.
- On the other hand, it’s clear that many of these ideas are being knocked down little by little: the woman is being empowered, moving up in society and filling more public spaces, finding her voice and leaving those antiquated ideas about gender behind.
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But all of this is happening on the outside… What are you doing on the inside, in your home, in your specific environment?
- You must be able to prioritize yourself once in awhile if you want to manage stress and anxiety better.
- Doing what you truly want instead of what others expect from you is the real key to emotional and psychological well-being.
3. Spending time with your girlfriends, a great way to fight stress and anxiety
Friendship between women isn’t just part of our socialization. It is therapeutic, healthy, and very good for your emotional health.
Being with your friends on a regular basis is a wonderful way to handle stress, put your problems into perspective, turn off your fears and anxieties, and put a stop to your obsessive or circular thoughts.
Don’t hesitate to say “yes” to that night out, “yes” to a nice cup of coffee with old friends.
4. Saying “I can’t anymore” is not equal to weakness
In a woman’s world, the phrase “I can’t,” “that doesn’t work for me,” or “I would like to focus on me right now” almost seem forbidden.
It’s as if saying it out loud will hurt someone or irreversibly disappoint the world.
But remember: a “no” on time saves lives, improves your health, keeps you from what you don’t want, and allows you to enjoy mental wellbeing.
Dare to put this into practice.
5. Take a deep breath, everything is going to be ok
When you think you’ve reached your limit, when stress is coming out of your ears and anxiety is making your heart beat out of your chest, follow these simple guidelines:
- Inhale deeply: watch your belly expand.
- Hold the air in for 4 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds.
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Now say the following words quietly to yourself: “everything is going to be ok, trust yourself. I am strong, I am at peace. I am balanced and things are going to get better.”
Principal image courtesy of wikiHow.com