4 Ways Stress Impacts Women Differently from Men and How to Manage It

Men’s and women’s stressors are almost the same: relationships, money, health, and careers. Some distinct areas of life tend to impact women more than men, though. Things like child-rearing, family obligations, pay gap, and physical safety in public. ;

This is especially true for mothers. They are the ones who are frequently set up for failure by the standards set by society. Apart from expectations to start a family, women must follow distinct rules to become perfect mothers. There’s no wonder why women are stressed most of the time. If you’ve suffered from these prejudices and want to know how stress has impacted you, as well as what you can do to remedy it, this article is for you.

Anxiety and Depression

More women than men are diagnosed with depression. Hormones spike and fall during certain phases like puberty and menopause, and while these can contribute, they’re unlikely to be the sole cause. Women have experiences that are unique to them, including pregnancy and postpartum issues. There are also expectations and social circumstances that can significantly reduce their self-esteem (think social media) and sense of worth (think sexual harassment).

You may have had these experiences and suffered anxiety and depression in the process. Just because not every woman is affected the same way and in the same degree doesn’t mean your feelings are invalid. If you don’t have a support group, seeking professional help is more important. It’s easy to find reputable ones in New York or reach smaller clinics in places like Massachusetts. In case you’re diagnosed with a condition–and there is no shame in it–pursuing specific treatments like dialectical behavior therapy will help.

Maybe it’s not you but someone you know. Support your fellow women by not letting them handle eating disorders, impulsive behaviors, and suicidal thoughts alone.

Migraines

Women are more likely to experience severe headaches due to stress. Maybe you’re used to nursing one before or during your monthly period, and you’ve never given it much thought. The next time you get one, it’s best to consider whether it’s due to hormones or stressors like work deadlines. Knowing exactly what triggers your migraine will save you from being reliant on medicine and help you discover better ways to cope. You’ll be surprised at how simple things like going for a short walk and switching to healthier snacks can reduce your migraines.

emotional woman

Obesity

Men and women stress-eat, but women are more prone to gaining weight because of it. It’s also important to point out that women store, metabolize, and mobilize fat differently. Factor in their inferior muscle mass, and it’s easy to understand why it’s a more common concern for women.

Stress-related weight gain shouldn’t be taken lightly. It compromises your health and your self-esteem. With society’s focus on influencers and celebrity bodies, there’s no wonder why body confidence is a huge issue for women. Remedying this starts with finding better ways to make yourself feel good, like dancing, creating art, or signing up for yoga classes. Bad eating habits are difficult to overcome, so be realistic about the goals you’re setting. Lastly, remember to focus on achieving a healthier body instead of a skinny one.

Immediate Physical Problems

Stress can cause menstrual complications, which is a physiological effect that can be life-threatening when severe. Women can suffer drastic changes in cycles as well as abnormal menstrual flow. Some even stop having their periods for months when they’re under immense pressure. While missing your period once in a while due to lifestyle changes or big life events like losing a loved one, it’s not something you should ignore.

Keep track of your monthly flow and take this diary with you when you visit a health professional. Doing so will make it easier to decide on a course of action to correct your menstrual cycle.

Stress Management

People manage stress differently, regardless of gender. It might take some trial-and-error before you find what works for you. Be patient and reflect on what’s causing your stress and how you respond to it. Knowing how it affects you as a woman is just the first step to effective stress management.

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