Did You Know That Stress Affects Women Differently Than Men?
Did you know that women report being more stressed out than men?
According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey, on a scale of 1 to 10, women rated their stress levels at an average of 5.1, compared to an average rating of 4.6 among men.
Researchers are only beginning to understand how stress affects women differently than men.
Here’s what we know about stress and women, as well as an easy and effective way to help keep stress in check.
It’s important to acknowledge that some stress in life is good (the kind that allows us to achieve, take on challenges, and strive to meet goals).
However, prolonged stress can be destructive to health.
Severe stress happens when our healthy “fight or flight” stress response stays activated. Designed to protect us from danger, the stress response comes into play when we detect a threat, whether real or perceived.
Our pulse quickens, muscles tense, and stress hormones put us on alert so that we can react quickly to either fight off the threat or flee to safety. After the threat has passed, our body returns to normal functioning.
However, when we perceive “threats” all day, as we often do in modern life, the stress response remains active. Over time, it can lead to many health problems. It’s no wonder the American Institute of Stress reports that upwards of 60 percent of primary care doctor visits are related to stress!
Women and Stress
Interestingly, there are differences that women experience related to the stress response.
When it’s activated, both genders release a number of the same hormones, however, research shows that women also release oxytocin in greater amounts than men. While it’s not fully understood, experts believe that this might be one reason women are reportedly more sensitive to stress.
Additionally, there’s stress inherent in the roles women play in today’s world, which often includes family obligations, caregiving for children and/or elderly parents (statistically more likely to be a woman), and work-related responsibilities. In particular, midlife women are more stress-ridden than men and women of any other age.
Common Stress Symptoms
While there are many stress symptoms that both sexes experience (headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, addictive behavior, low mood, etc.), experts have noted certain symptoms that are more pronounced in women, especially in women who are overly stressed. The U.S. Office on Women’s Health reports these findings:
- Women were almost twice as likely as men to have symptoms of low mood than men and were more likely to have anxious feelings or related mental health issues.
- Tension headaches are common in women.
- Long-term stress can lead to bowel health issues, which are twice as common in women as in men.
- Stress increases the amount of the hormone cortisol in your body, which can trigger overeating and weight gain. The link between stress and weight gain is greater for women than for men.
- Women with higher levels of stress are more likely to have problems getting pregnant than women with lower levels of stress.
- Women who experience extreme stress may have more severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms or irregular periods.
- Women under chronic stress may take longer to get aroused and may have less sex drive than women with lower levels of stress.
- Women, particularly under work stress, have shown greater incidence of cardiovascular problems.
Having high levels of cortisol has been linked to brain shrinkage and memory issues in healthy, middle-aged adults – with more pronounced effects in women than men.
The surveys and studies underscore an even greater need for women to find calm and reduce stress to lead healthy lives.
Benefits of Stress Support Supplements
Getting proper sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, meditating, and cultivating satisfying relationships are all brain-healthy ways to soothe your stress.
Yet, when women are busy and stressed, many of those healthy lifestyle habits fall by the wayside.
Stress support supplements offer a great way to combat the effects of stress. We’re proud to offer…
Everyday Stress Relief
Everyday Stress Relief is designed to help replenish nutrients that can be depleted by stress.
It includes herbal extracts clinically proven to have calming and anti-stress effects, which can dial down anxious feelings without making you sleepy, and help reduce apprehension, tension, worry, and fatigue.
The formula’s Holy Basil, an herb revered both in Europe and the East, helps to improve adaptation to occasional anxiety and other problems related to stress, while Relora®, a unique mix of two herbs, helps enhance the healthy management of cortisol and ease tension, irritability, and confusion.
Other ingredients include magnesium, which is a well-known calming mineral that promotes a balanced and mentally focused demeanor, as well as a phytochemical derived from green tea, L-theanine, to help reduce tension.
Finally, the amino acid taurine is added to support the adrenal gland function, which is crucial for coping with stress.
Be careful not to get stressed about reducing your stress!
Instead, let this information inspire you to prioritize your life and keep stress in check. Taking a stress support supplement offers a simple and easy way to get started.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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