How Men And Women Deal With Stress

By Indrani KarmakarIndrani Karmakar  • 

They say men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. And anyone who has spent quality time with the other gender will know why it is stated that men and women are a world apart. Human beings might have similar bodily needs like nutrition, rest, and procreation, but in a more detailed analysis, men and women have very different ways of comprehending and reacting. One common enemy that we as humans face now is stress. Stress can be brought on by several causes, including challenges at work, problems at home, or financial concerns. It may have adverse effects on your body and mental state. The stress response, however, may vary from man to woman. Scientists have discovered that your hormones, DNA, and other physiological factors all play a role in your body’s reaction to stress (1). Each gender has its unique stress response and method of dealing with the pressure discussed in this article. Read on to know them all.

Predisposing Factors Of Male And Female In The Development Of Stress

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The stress-related illnesses of panic disorder, anxiety, PTSD, severe depression, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, insomnia, autoimmune diseases, and chronic pain are more common in women than men (2). Other illnesses like high blood pressure are more common in men (3). In addition, the risk for violent behavior and substance misuse also increases in them.

Compared to men, women report experiencing more significant levels of stress and its repercussions (although this may be because women are more often seen by doctors and more likely to reveal symptoms) (4). An APA poll found that 37% of women, versus 31% of men, report feeling stressed (5). Stress levels were also observed to be greater among women. Furthermore, they were much more likely to report experiencing sadness, depression, nervousness, weariness, and even a desire to cry at the end of a month.

Even though both sexes report money and job as significant sources of stress in their lives, there are still notable disparities between how men and women deal with these issues.

The Gender Gap In Stress Response

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There is a gender gap in responding to stress, which brings the question: why do males and females react differently? Research suggests that hormones might be a contributing cause. The “fight or flight” reaction, characterized by physiological changes like sweaty palms, a racing heart, and the desire to either confront a threatening situation or flee from it, is more common in men than in women as a stress response.

In reaction to stress, the female body may release adrenaline and cortisol hormones. Further, they secrete oxytocin, a hormone that has been shown to increase feelings of closeness and trust in relationships (6). (Men, too, generate oxytocin, albeit in far lower quantities.) In women, it is thought, they have a “tend and befriend” response to stressful situations, meaning they want to shield those close to them and make new friends.

Hormones like testosterone and estrogen may also play an essential role in how the body reacts to pressure (7). In addition, scientists are looking at male-specific genes like the SRY gene, which affect the body’s readiness to fight or flee danger (8). Women may be more likely to shoulder the responsibilities of caring and may be more likely to work in high-stress, low-status occupations due to social and cultural reasons.

How Is Stress Handled Differently By Men And Women

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How men and women handle stress may sometimes be interchangeable. For example, walking or other forms of exercise were reported to be the most popular stress relief methods in a poll, with about equal percentages of men (46%) and women (48%) (9). On the other hand, women preferred to do things that brought them closer to others, such as socializing with loved ones and attending religious services.

Playing sports and listening to music were other common ways for males to relieve stress. However, under 10% of males reported taking no action to deal with stress (vs. 4% of women) (10).

How To Eliminate Stress

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Getting regular exercise, eating well, maintaining a healthy body weight, keeping a good outlook, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, giving up nicotine, and cutting back on coffee are all things medical professionals recommend if you’re feeling stressed. If you’re having trouble coping with your stress, it is best to take advice from a medical professional. You can make an appointment with your physician or talk to someone who has benefited from therapy and would like to recommend someone skilled. You may work with this person to create a stress management strategy that will improve your health in the long run.

Be it a man or a woman, dealing with stress is never easy, especially when you have to carry on with your life and keep a straight face. The trick is to be kind and give yourself some rest when you need it the most. So, what is your take on this article? Let us know in the comments section!


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