The Many Faces of Stress

Turn on the television and you will likely be bombarded by stories of financial problems, terrorist threats, and natural disasters. Add to this backdrop layoffs, illness, money woes, temper tantrums, and traffic jams - challenges you are more likely to face in your own life - and you can see that stressful situations are constant and inevitable.
Stress is part of life, and it affects everyone at one time or another. And to be clear, stress is not all bad. A certain amount of stress energizes people, improving performance and efficiency. It’s only when stress builds too high that problems can develop.
So much for generalities. The sort of stress you encounter, how you perceive it, and how you react to it depend on individual factors, such as:
  • Whether you are male or female
  • How old you are
  • Whether you are caring for an elderly or sick relative
  • Your employment situation
All of these factors affect stress—and how best to respond to it—in different ways.

How gender affects stress

The physiology of the stress response is similar for everyone. But some researchers believe that there are distinct differences in the way women and men experience and respond to stress.
Community surveys taken in many countries find women consistently report greater distress than men do. A study of roughly 1,100 American adults that appeared in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that women were more likely than men to experience ongoing stress and feel that their lives were out of their control. Read more...

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