Modern women are, we’re often told, stressed. We’re engaged in a juggling act: still shouldering the majority of the domestic responsibilities, while trying to hold down careers.
Even when it comes to our mental health, we can’t escape the gender gap. Studies – such as that done by Oxford University in 2013 – say the stress we’re put under as a consequence, could be why women experience more mental health problems than men. National mental health surveys show that psychological disorders are 20 to 40 per cent more common in women. While Health and Safety Executive (HSE) research over the three year period from 2012-2015 showed that women are almost 60 per cent more likely to suffer from work-related stress than men.
Dealing with stress
Recent research knocks ideas about ‘stress management’ on the head. Rather than trying to control its symptoms, we should instead be adopting a more positive approach – improving our resilience and wellbeing.
A US study of 30,000 adults, over eight years, found that those reporting high stress levels and who believed stress was harmful were 43 per cent more likely to have died in that period. In contrast, those reporting high stress levels but who didn’t believe it was bad for their health had lowest risk of death, even lower than those reporting minimal stress levels.
What is resilience?
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So what is resilience? It could be described as an individual’s response to anxiety and the methods utilised by them to successfully deal with a situation or event they perceive to be to be stressful.
But it’s not something you are born with – in reality resilience is an active choice, a mindset everyone is capable of achieving.
It’s not an impervious layer of steel that will protect your mental health – brittle and impenetrable – but something flexible, self-aware and authentic, that enhances performance and focus.
Simply, it’s something you choose. Here are 10 hacks to help you be more resilient in the face of stress.
How to be more resilient