Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How to handle stress at work -- Girl Power.

Shift into a Zen state of mind. Accordingly, grab your wall chart of chakra centers in the body, assume lotus position and commence belly breathing. Kidding, don’t do that in your pencil skirt and ‘loes, you will look and feel dumb. Instead, read this very nice study on women and why we are better than men (at least when it comes to coping with stress). My summary is below and a link a related article by Gale Berkowitz and the research follows.

UCLA researchers were discussing differences in how male and female colleagues copped with stress and they found that the women tended to grab a cup of decaf, their best gal pal and vent. Men tended to isolate themselves in their offices, avoid calls and social contact, and work out the problem/stress alone. Why does it matter? The UCLA researchers decided to find out what was going on when it came to dealing with stress. Results: men have 2 responses to stress and these are the classic fight or flight mechanisms; women actually have 3 responses to stress, fight, flight or “circle the wagons”. This third response, unique to the gentler sex (LOL), is part of the reason for women’s longer life expectancy. The instinct to grab a girlfriend and dish when you are red-lining the "stress-o-meter" is based on the release of oxytocin (feel good hormone) in the brain that is released when women share their burdens. Apparently, venting is a tremendous stress reliever and now there is science to prove it. The number of girlfriends you have is also linked to happiness, longevity, and better quality of life. The stronger your bond with other women, the more of those bonds you have, and your ability to maintain those relationships plays an important role in the quality of life. So go out with your girls and dish. You’ll feel better and actually add time to the play clock.

1 comment:

Emma said...

Great minds must think alike!! I posted about this amazing study the other day on my blog, I Heart Margarine. Just one more reason to ditch my boyfriend and head out for a girls' night!