Handling Stress – Women and Men Are Different

Stress seems to be an everyday fact of life. Have you noticed how differently men and women handle the stress and stressors in life?

Janet Hilts of http://JanetHilts.com and I did an entire broadcast discussing “How To Deal With Stress.” on my radio show Women Enjoying Success. Doing my research for our discussion, I found some interesting comparisons between the way men and women deal with stress. Surprise! Men and women deal with stress very differently.

Here’s what I found out:

1. Women become more emotionally involved in their “stress.” We tend to cry as a way of cleansing the excess emotional energy out of our system. Men on the other hand, tend to hold stress in and keep their stressors to themselves.

2. Women want to sit down and discuss their stressful feelings; men tend to ignore the stress all together.

Can you see a pattern here? Women want to communicate and men want to remain silent.

A well-known and respected study, appearing in the July 2000 Psychological Review confirmed that women and men handle stress very differently. Of course any of us who’ve been around men long enough don’t need a psychological study to conclude that stress affects men and women differently. Here’s what the review concluded:

1. When faced with stress, women seem to become more nurturing and supportive. The study suggested that a woman’s body chemistry in times of stress produces a higher amount of hormones that encourage her to instinctively protect those around her.

2. Men “stuffed” their stress and kept it bottled up so their emotions wouldn’t show. They also handled stress by walking away or becoming argumentative.

3. Even in the most stressful times, women tend to be concerned for others. Women tend to focus on and worry about other people, especially family and friends. They also were willing to place the needs of others before their own.

4. During stressful times men tend to focus their energy on attaining and winning and less on what is happening around them.

The way women or men deal with stress is neither right nor wrong, it just is. When I think about it, it all makes sense. Hopefully, we can use this insightful information to better understand and help to eliminate some of the stress and stressors in our lives. What do you think of these findings?


Copyright © 2011 Sharon Michaels – All Rights Reserved

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