7 Ways Women Cause Unnecessary Stress
You know what really gets to me?
When I meet yet another woman who is struggling with herself because of too much stress. It becomes even worse when this woman has been carrying this burden of stress around too long and causes a burnout or adrenal exhaustion. Of course, I realize that there are tons of reasons why this can happen to someone. Work. Caregiving. Financial distress. Relationship issues. Problems with your health. To name a few.
What gets me the most is when I see women struggling with the physical, mental and emotional consequences of chronic stress and they (often unknowingly) are causing it themselves.
Huh? Is that possible… that you can cause your own stress?
Oh yeah, baby. And I’m sure you know this already, the consequences aren’t pretty. Because let’s face, stress is a bitch. And unnecessary stress? Nobody signs up for that voluntarily. So what are we going to do? I’m going to rub it in for a moment but all in the name of LOVE of course.
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STRESS CAUSE #1
YOU PRIORITISE CARING FOR OTHER OF CARING FOR YOURSELF
Us women are generally made in such a way that we are generous givers and caretakers. A hormone called oxytocin (also known as the cuddle hormone) takes care of that. More oxytocin is produced when taking care of others. So what do we do subconsciously? Care. Give. Help.
Too many women tend to forget to care for themselves and end up taking care of themselves last. First, the kids need to be taken care of. Second, a possible partner. Third, work. And then often there is also a household to run that is ALSO prioritized over your self-care. Oh, honey… When is it finally your turn?
When you are always giving and prioritise the needs of others above your own, there comes a moment in time when it all starts to become too much. The balance between what is good for someone else and what is good for you becomes unhinged. Slowly, your stress levels start to increase…
So let’s do that differently. Put yourself and your needs first. Perhaps take 5 minutes to write in a favorite journal or spend some more time on your yoga mat. That really works SO much better. Taking care of yourself first really isn’t selfish, it’s common sense. Because if you are doing great, everyone benefits. You. Your children. Your partner. Your job. Win- win – win – win!
STRESS CAUSE #2
YOU HAVEN’T REALIZED THAT YOU ARE IN PERI-MENOPAUSE YET
There are way too many women in their forties who do not realize that they are already going through hormonal changes, making them more susceptible to stress. And yes honey, it is possible to not really notice anything of this transition. In addition, chronic stress has a BIG impact on our hormones, which then interacts with this new transitional hormonal imbalance.
In my coaching practice, I come across too many middle-aged women who are not aware of this. I’m well aware that it is a bit of a
STRESS CAUSE #3
YOU ARE A PERFECTIONIST
Well, why would you want to be a perfectionist? To make it nice and complicated for yourself? To strive for something that you are rarely able to achieve? Mmm, not too handy if you think about it huh?
Perfectionists can completely lose themselves in trying to achieve the best of the best outcome. They set super high standards, sometimes for others, but mostly for themselves. Maybe you want to be the perfect mother. As if motherhood doesn’t ask enough of you as is. You really are way too great to be doing this to yourself. Aim for a little less perfection and your life will become much easier immediately.
STRESS CAUSE #4
YOUR EXPECTATIONS ARE SKY HIGH
Yeah, we women often have expectations. Which are often not verbalized (otherwise it wouldn’t be an expectation
You think that hubby is picking up on your clues and signs. Yeah, right. Men usually don’t pick up on that. Men need clarity. That means clear language and not too extensive, please. So just cut it out with those expectations. Express what you need. Say what you want and need. Indicate what you would like.
STRESS CAUSE #5
YOU DO NOT HAVE CLEAR LIMITS
A lot of women just have a hard time saying NO. Because, oh no, what if someone doesn’t like you. Another way of looking at it is that indicating what you do or do not want, means that you are clear. That’s it.
If you start expressing where your limits lie, you’ll create space. Your space. Where you meet your own needs. Imagine how that would feel. Nice feeling, right?
Answer this question: What do you need right now? Say it. Just say it. You’ll see that the world will not end.
As long as you keep choosing to not speak up, nothing can change. So stand up for yourself. You can do it. The good news: there is hope on the horizon. The older you become, the easier it becomes to say NO. Just because you slowly start to care less what other people think about it. Or maybe because your oxytocin levels decrease…
STRESS CAUSE #6
YOU DON’T ASK FOR HELP
It is especially those women who are good at helping others who refrain from asking for help themselves. What a shame. What’s wrong with asking for a little help, especially if you get stuck or just don’t know what to do anymore? These women usually go on fumbling about endlessly while they have actually reached their limits, and what they are doing is no longer working.
If they would just reach out earlier it wouldn’t have to take such a toll.
STRESS CAUSE #7
YOU FORGET TO RELAX
Well yeah, because there is never enough time right? Isn’t it funny that it is these moments exactly
In our super-fast-paced world, relaxation is the key to less stress. Everyone seems to only occupy themselves with performing, rushing, running, flying, working, exercising, being busy busy busy.
Why? No seriously, WHY?
Regular moments of relaxation ensures that your stress levels decrease. So just make it more important.
It really isn’t about time. It’s about priority.
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Ingrid Prent is the owner and founder of De Gezonderie. Ingrid can coach you both online and personally in making healthy choices in nutrition, sports, stress and lifestyle. Ingrid’s expertise lies in stress and burnout counselling. She is determined to reduce the rising numbers of burnout among women through her online program The Stress-Free Woman.