Do Men and Women Handle STress Differently?
What has been your experience? Do men and women deal with stress differently?
I asked this question recently of my Facebook friends. While most respondents felt there was a difference, they were unable to identify exactly in what ways. This led me to do more research.
Like it or not, stress is a very natural part of each of our life experiences. If we are able to ignore it, that doesn’t make it go away. Even if we are not mentally aware of our stress, there are times our physical well-being Is affected. At that point, we know we need to do something about it.
There are many things that cause stress including jobs, family issues and finances. Both positive and negative situations can cause stress. Your physiology feels a rush of hormones responding to stress but is unable to determine whether the source is good stress or bad stress.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30
As a result, stress can take a huge toll on not only our moods but also our physical health. And there are differences to this effect, depending on whether you’re a woman or a man.
Hormones, genes and your unique physiology have a large impact on how you respond to stress. Research has found that men and women respond to stress in different ways and try to relieve that stress in different ways as well.
In general, women report being more stressed than men and feeling more of these effects. This may be because women are also more likely to visit doctors and talk about their symptoms. Men often do not express their stress verbally but may behave in angry ways in response to it.
37% of women will report feeling stressed, while 31% of men report stress, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association.
"As a Pastor’s wife, I had convinced myself that I was stress free. And then I started having twitches but no. That’s not me because everything is perfect. We all live a stressful life and need to know how to make it stress free. And there’s biblical answers to that. So join us, this is a great program."
Women are also more likely to say they feel like crying, that they felt nervous, anxious, depressed, tired or sad.
Both men and women report that their greatest causes of stress are money and work-related. What causes the most stress in your life?
But why is it that men and women respond to stress so differently? Studies have shown the marked differences are caused by hormones. During stressful times, women’s bodies produce more oxytocin than men’s bodies. Because oxytocin is a hormone that promotes bonding with others, women tend to reach out to others for connection and support more than men do.
There are many other hormonal and genetic factors and this is just a small part of what we now know.
If you’re feeling stressed, here are a few suggestions:
- exercise, especially cardio
- eat healthy
- maintain a positive outlook
- practice relaxation exercises (You'll learn some in the Stress Relief Coach training and certification program)
- quit smoking
- cut back on caffeine
If you would like to learn how to help individuals one-to-one and in groups to relieve their stress, become a Certified Stress Relief Coach. You’ll even learn to help companies setup stress management programs. This specialty (or niche) is increasingly in high demand.
And if you've experienced some interesting stress responses, please share in the comments near the bottom of this page.
Want to learn more?
PCCCA's Certified Stress Relief Coach certification course will help you develop a specialty in working with clients who need help in relieving their stress, regardless of its source. Click HERE for course details.
>> The enrollment button and tuition are found near the bottom of that page.