Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Female Stress Response

A couple of months ago I wrote about men and women taking stress in different parts of the body. Well as it turns out, that's not the only difference when it comes to stress; women and men actually experience stress quite differently. Recent research shows that while men are typically inclined to the ‘Fight-or-Flight’ response to stress, women are more inclined to have a  ‘Tend-&-Befriend’ response. In other words, rather than becoming angry or defensive and feeling the need to strike out or ‘go off’, women are more likely to feel emotional and want to seek out someone to talk to.  So rather than give you the typical advice to ‘take 3 breaths’ or ‘punch a punching bag’ for the equally typical ‘Fight/Flight’ reaction, here’s one just for the female ‘Tend & Befriend’ response!
Next time you feel an unexplained urge to talk to someone, stop for a moment and check whether it’s in response to stress. If you determine that it is, then use this knowledge about yourself to make 3 choices:
  1. Choose who you talk to, with careful consideration
  2. Choose your words mindfully, so they becomes a constructive stress-relieving process, rather than a 'whine & complain'  session.
  3. Choose to move on to something positive afterwards, even if it’s just having tea in a favorite cup, reading something funny, or buying a new cologne!

1 comment:

  1. Your post is very insightful. I hadn't considered the gender perspective but do know at times it isn't fight or flight for me. I may have to tag back to you in my next post on fear.