Stress in small amounts can be a good thing. Stress can cause us to complete tasks with a higher sense of urgency when approaching a deadline. Chronic stress, on the other hand, can negatively impact physical and mental health. Stress is more likely to cause depression and anxiety in women than in men.
The top offenders that cause stress in women are work, family, and or financial stress. There are many symptoms of stress. Minor symptoms of stress can include insomnia, upset stomach, and headache. Major symptoms of stress can include but are not limited to; difficulty sleeping, drug and alcohol abuse, lack of energy, lack of focus, loss of interest in usual hobbies, and social isolation.
Women with higher levels of stress are more likely to run into fertility problems and often have difficulty getting pregnant. Chronic stress in women can cause irregular periods and severe Premenstrual Syndrome. Chronic stress can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Stress triggers a hormone in the body called cortisol. Women who have higher levels of stress produce more cortisol which causes overeating and increased fat storage. This can lead to obesity and diabetes in women. Gastrointestinal distress such as upset stomach, gas, bloating, and excess acid can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Many women are overworked and burnt out. There are several methods to cope with stress. Creating a daily plan or to-do list can help. Most importantly, it is important to ask for help and to practice self-care. Techniques such as deep breathing, journaling, spending time outdoors, counseling, spending time with loved ones, or exercise can all help cope with stress. If you are unable to cope with stress, you are not alone. Talking to a professional can help. Tell your doctor.