Typical manifestations of stress – headache, stomach spasm, burnout, irritability – are familiar to everyone. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Medical statistics claim that more than a thousand diseases are stress-induced, that is, they are caused by constant stress. According to multiple research, women are especially sensitive to stress. This manifests itself in a variety of physical symptoms.
Stress has a variety of very unpleasant consequences: anxiety, depression, neurosis, emotional instability, low mood, or, conversely, over-excitation, anger, memory impairment, insomnia, increased fatigue, and even alcohol or drug addiction. If you notice that you started drinking more alcohol to relieve stress or added drugs to your daily routine — google women’s rehab near me. Addiction should be treated immediately and usually, doctors from rehabilitation clinics treat not only the addiction itself but also the reasons for it.
Features of women’s reaction to stress
Stress is the body’s reaction to a long-term negative event (danger, excessive mental and emotional stress, grief, obligations imposed on a person, and the need to make important decisions quickly).
Single stressful situations are a norm laid down by nature, the reaction to them is aimed at preserving life and health. If traumatic episodes occur often, the more so every day the body is quickly exhausted, exhausting resources. Lack of strength and energy gives a feeling of loss of control over one’s life, which is a powerful stress factor.
The response to stress in men and women is different: in males, the areas of the brain responsible for planning and action (“fight or flight” reaction) are activated, in women – for visualization, cognitive and emotional processing of experience. That is why women tend to hang on to traumatic events, reliving them over and over again. This is accompanied by the maintenance of a constantly high level of stress hormones. In addition to everything, women’s multitasking and the genetic desire to protect children from danger increase the stress load: it is necessary to be in a state of “combat readiness constantly”.
The influence of stress on the female organism
Under the influence of constant stress, a kind of vicious circle develops:
A high level of stress hormones leads to a decrease in immune protection, the production of melatonin and growth hormone is worse (and therefore, the body ages faster, it recovers worse), and reproductive function is suppressed.
Disruptions in the endocrine and immune systems provoke an exacerbation of chronic diseases and the development of new ones, which causes another round of nervous tension.
Among the most frequent results of the negative impact of stress on the body of women:
- Disorders of the menstrual cycle: a hormonal imbalance on a nervous basis can cause anovulation, scanty (hypomenorrhea), short (oligomenorrhea), and rare (oligomenorrhoea) menstruation. Due to strong prolonged stress, menstruation can even disappear completely – the so-called “wartime amenorrhea” develops. The body throws all its forces into the struggle for survival, so the reproductive function simply “turns off”.
- Diffuse toxic goiter is a hereditary autoimmune disease associated with increased production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. In women, pathology occurs 5 times more often than in men. Among the provoking factors are mental injuries, and long-term nervous tension.
- Stress infertility: one in three women cannot conceive due to chronic stress.
- Oncopathologies of the breast: more than half of breast cancer cases develop under the influence of constant nervous tension. And all because of the increased sensitivity of the mammary gland to hormones, especially to prolactin. This substance is synthesized during feeding, orgasm, and chronic stress. Increased production of prolactin affects the state of the mammary gland. At first, benign changes develop, which can transform into oncology under the influence of negative factors (improper diet, sleep disturbance, inappropriate dose of oral contraceptives).
- Immunodeficiency: from frequent SARS, thrush, and cystitis to exacerbation of chronic diseases – all these problems can develop on a nervous basis.
- Eating disorder: females eat stress ten times more often than males. This is due to the influence of female hormones: under stress, the production of estrogen decreases, the level of serotonin, the “hormone of happiness”, decreases, and the synthesis of cortisol, on the contrary, increases. These processes cause a strong feeling of hunger: you want fatty, sweet, floury foods that give you quick energy.
- Drug or alcohol addiction: according to women’s rehab centers, permanent stress leads to substance abuse and in this case, a woman needs women’s drug rehabilitation.
- Pathologies of the fetus: when a pregnant woman is constantly nervous, the cortisol level in the future baby’s body increases. This increases the risk of developing diseases of the heart and blood vessels of the child and can cause congenital anomalies – asymmetry in the location of the fetus’s ears, fingers, and limbs.
If you feel constant emotional discomfort, the symptoms become more pronounced, and somatic (bodily) reactions have appeared – consult a psychotherapist. The doctor will help deal with the problem, identify unconscious stress factors, and prescribe the necessary drugs. Timely treatment will help avoid serious health consequences. The same — for addictions. Do not wait until I’ll pass — look for female rehab centers or rehabs for pregnant women.
Control over stress
Stress is sometimes impossible to avoid, especially if it hits suddenly. But you can learn to help yourself, calm down and not succumb to the destructive power of emotions.
Feed your brain with energy
The brain needs an emotional “recharge” – rest, positivity, and a dose of motivation. During the working day, it is useful to take small breaks every 2 hours. Just put aside everything you are busy with and dedicate the next 3-5 minutes to something that brings you joy. You can be distracted by pictures of children, motivational photos from vacations, or watch a video clip – any activity that improves mood.
Start your morning routine with Thanksgiving
Take control of your thoughts before daily worries overwhelm you. In the first minutes of waking up in the morning, think about the people who love you, and thank them for all the good things that are in your life.
Ask for help
It’s ok to start therapy if you constantly feel bad or discuss difficulties with your friends. If you started drinking more alcohol or got drug problems, google recovery centers for women. Stress and addiction are not the things people cope with on their own.
If it is not possible to allocate time for meditation, try to perceive the surrounding world consciously, and savor every moment. The practice of living in the moment “here and now” brings the same effect as meditation. Be curious, notice the details of what is happening around you (the color of the barista’s eyes, the pattern on the chef’s tie, the breed of a passerby’s dog). It is excellent brain nourishment that improves concentration, attention, and ability to work under stress, and ultimately makes you feel happier.