Why do women suffer more from stress than men?

Apr, 12, 2019

According to science, stress hits women ́s brain’s harder and the fact that men don’t always get it, doesn ́t help. Even though you may be basically healthy, tension and stress can affect any of us. But don’t ́t worry, you can do something to feel better.

The latest evidence?

Researchers have just linked high levels of the stress hormone cortisol to brain shrinkage and impaired memory in healthy middle-aged adults. And get this: The effect was more pronounced in women than in men. This new research underscores an important point. Though stress affects your whole body, ground zero is your brain. The speed of life today is the main stressor—it’s much faster than our brain’s ability to adapt. The lack of control has been shown to be a huge source of stress.

Fortunately, research has discovered new effective ways to reduce your tension.

Why women?

According to an annual survey by the American Psychological Association, women have repeatedly reported higher levels of tension than men and sometimes even more stress-related physical and emotional symptoms, including headache, upset stomach, fatigue, irritability, and sadness.

Women’s brains make them more sensitive than men to stressors and a perceived lack of control. The limbic areas of women’s brains, which help control emotions and memories, are highly active, making them remember hurts and slights more readily.

In addition, the multiple demands of parenting and being in charge of the well-being of the household mean that women’s focus tends to be more diffuse. And an unfocused brain is another source of stress.

This gap between women and men can sometimes create conflict because they don’t experience and interpret stress in the same way.

Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine found that while imagining a personalized, highly stressful event, the action- and planning-oriented parts of men’s brains were actively engaged, while women’s brains were busy visualizing and also cognitively and emotionally processing the experience.

In the second part of the study, when men and women were experiencing intense anxiety, brain regions that were active in women were inactive in men. This suggests that women tend to get caught up in processing their stress, turning it over and over in their minds and reimagining it.

Women tend to cope with their stress by talking and describing their emotions, which could increase the risk for ruminating about the issue. While men are more likely to take an action or to quickly think about doing something.That might explain why women tend to provide emotional support to someone who is stressed, whereas men might offer advice or something tangible like money or physical help. So men and women who are stressed out prefer to get support from women.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/