Table of Content
What is Stress?
Stress is your body’s response to certain situations, especially real or perceived harmful situations. When you are under stress, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline. This causes certain chemical reactions and responses in your body, which could be beneficial or harmful.
A burst of adrenaline can give you the energy that can help you cope with the stress. For example, it aids you to immediately slam on the brakes when someone jumps in front of your vehicle; and thus it can prevent you or others from getting hurt. This reaction is known as "fight-or-flight,” or the stress response.
Small doses of stress are inevitable and not harmful. However, long-term exposure to stressful situations and chronic stress can have huge ramifications on your mental health and physical health.
Sources of Stress in Women
Stress is caused by different situations for different people. What is stressful for one person, might be easily managed by another. Some people can handle stress better than others. There are many sources of stress — financial worries, job security, issues at the workplace, relationship issues, family conflict, traumatic events like loss of a loved one, severe illnesses, etc.
Stress in women can arise from daily life, the workplace, and family obligations. In the current society, women are expected to take on multiple roles and manage them well by multitasking. Statistically, women generally take on the role of caregiver — be it for the children or the elderly. This is in addition to their professional responsibilities. In many cultures, they are also expected to ensure a harmonious environment at home. This can increase the stress levels for women and cause them to feel pressured. Additionally, events such as pregnancy or menopause can also contribute to stress in women due to physical changes in their bodies.
How to Identify Stress Symptoms in Women
It is important to identify how long-term stress manifests in your body and behavior. It can affect your emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, as well as physical health. Each deals with stress in their way and symptoms can vary accordingly. However, studies have shown that women are more likely to report physical and emotional symptoms of stress than men. Some of the ways chronic stress affects women are:
↳ Feeling moody and easily frustrated
↳ Feeling out of control and overwhelmed
↳ Having a short temper and getting easily agitated
↳ Isolating yourself and avoiding others
↳ Racing Thoughts: Having difficulty quieting your mind or relaxing.
↳ Forgetfulness: Being disorganized and scatter-brained.
↳ Constant Worrying: Overwhelming negative thoughts and inability to control them.
↳ Inability to focus: Lack of concentration and having a short attention span.
↳ Insomnia: Inability to sleep and having irregular sleep cycles.
↳ Procrastination: Avoidance of responsibilities, missing important dates and deadlines.
↳ Changes in Appetite: Indulging in either overeating or undereating.
↳ Nervous Behaviours: Pacing, constant fidgeting, or nail-biting.
↳ Low Sex Drive: less interest in sex than usual.
Physical Symptoms of Severe stress in women:
↳ Obesity: Stress can cause you to gain weight and neglect your physical well-being.
↳ Cardiovascular Issues: Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure and heart rate. Over time, this can cause heart diseases like heart attacks or strokes.
↳ Headaches and migraines: Tension headaches are more common in women than men.
↳ Depression and Anxiety: Dealing with long-term stress can adversely affect your mental health and contributes to depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Women have higher rates of these conditions.
↳ Upset stomach: Having irregular bowel movements is a common symptom of stress. In worst cases, chronic stress can contribute to even Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
↳ Skin and Hair Problems: Skin conditions such as acne, rashes, and eczema as well as hair issues like hair fall, permanent hair loss, etc might be effects of stress.
↳ Menstrual Problems: Stress in women can affect their physical health and menstrual cycle. Irregular periods, distressing cramps, mood swings, and severe PMS might be caused due to stress.
Stress Management Techniques
Since stress can have adverse effects on your health, it is vital to find ways to mitigate it. Here are some ways of stress management:
Deep Breaths and Stretching:
When feeling overwhelmed, take deep and slow breaths. You can also stretch yourself for a few minutes to relax your muscles. Relax your brows, stretch your neck and unclench your jaw.
As a long-term measure, practice breathing techniques and meditation. Journaling can also help you collect your thoughts and reduce your anxiety. Practicing mindfulness or yoga can inculcate a feeling of focus and relaxation and thus reduce stress.
Set limits and Designate duties:
Take care to set limits and boundaries in your professional and personal life. Know your limits and communicate them. Understand that you cannot control or manage everything.
Move forward with imperfections. Instead of micromanaging, designate chores and duties. Ask for help when needed. Practice self-care and take time out for yourself when you feel stressed out.
Consistent Healthy Habits:
While it seems like a relief to indulge in unhealthy habits such as stress eating, procrastinating, over-sleeping, etc. This contributes to increasing your stress. You should build consistent healthy habits.
Take care to eat healthy nutritious meals at the right times, instead of having fast food as a midnight snack. Have a consistent sleep cycle and bedtime routine. Ensure that you get enough physical exercise. These habits boost your physical health as well as mental health. Consistently building these habits can exercise your willpower and make you better equipped to handle stress.
If you find it difficult to manage stress in your life, ask for aid — from your loved ones or mental health professionals. If you feel stressed out and it is affecting your daily life, you can always reach out to us for help — contact us for guidance by calling +91 97414 76476 or by visiting our website.
Im feeling stressed, what should I do?
Ans. Stress is a natural response to the situations we feel in our everyday life. But there are ways to manage the stress you face. Relieving Stress is accomplished through multiple relaxation techniques. These include a healthy lifestyle, open communication and more.
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