Prevention and Wellness

Stress and Anxiety

Premier Health doctors answer frequently asked questions about stress and anxiety.

How does stress affect women and men differently?

Dr. Block discusses how stress can affect women and men differently. Click play to watch the video or read the video transcript.

 

There are many differences between women and men. One difference is how they are affected by stress. Women tend to have more physical symptoms when faced with stressors.

Signs of Stress

Some signs of stress include the following:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Increase in blood pressure

Causes of Stress

Some causes of stress include the following:

  • Minor hassles – Anything from spilled milk to lost keys to a missed phone call
  • Major changes – Examples include a move, a divorce or death of a loved one
  • Stress overload – Being pulled in many directions by work, family, finances and more
  • Feeling helpless – A sign of long-term stress, this can lead to depression

Women also tend to deal with stress differently than men. Men don’t often seek help. Women are more apt to talk about what is causing their stress.

Coping with Stress

There are many steps you can take to help relieve your stress:

  • Identify the stress and what triggers it.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle by getting plenty of sleep, eating right and exercising.
  • Respond positively to stress by managing the things you can change and letting go of the things you cannot control.
  • Relax and slow down.

Talk with your physician about what might be causing stress in your life and the best ways to help manage that stress.

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How big of a role does stress play in women’s health?

Dr. Chunn discusses the role stress plays in women’s health. Click play to watch the video or read the video transcript.

 

Stress can play a major role in leading to other health problems for women, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones called stress hormones. These hormones make your blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels rise.

Impact of Stress

Some of the long-term health effects of stress include the following:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Menstrual problems
  • Acne and skin problems
  • Depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders
  • Abnormal heart beats

Women react to stress differently than men. Women are more likely to experience physical symptoms of stress than men.

Talk to your doctor for more information about the role stress plays in your health.

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What lifestyle habits potentially lead to increased stress?

A variety of habits and behaviors can lead to increased stress. Anything from losing keys or running errands to events as big as serious illness or changing jobs can cause stress.

Even happy events, like having a baby or getting married, can cause stress.

Stress occurs when events or situations become overwhelming.

Many times, women can feel overwhelmed by trying to balance work and family demands.

Stressors You Can Change

Certain choices we make can increase the stress in our lives. Some specific stress-causing habits common to women include:

  • Taking on too much responsibility
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Lack of organization

If you feel overwhelmed and stressed, talk with your physician about lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your stress.

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Source content: Dale Block, MD, CPE, Premier Family Care of Mason; Michael Chunn, MD, Michael A. Chunn, MD Family Practice;

Content Updated: April 9, 2015

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