Throughout the week, do you catch yourself complaining about how stressful your life is? Of course it is. According to American Psychology Association data, women are more likely than men to experience high stress levels. On a 10-point scale, 23% of women report their stress level at an 8, 9 or 10 (extreme stress), compared to 16% of men. Even more distressing, while 68% of women say managing stress is important to them, only 34% say they are doing a very good job at it. Maybe that is why American writer and feminist Rita Mae Brown came up with the following quote:
The statistics on insanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay, then it’s you.”
But is it possible that your stress is exaggerated? Some will argue ‘Yes.’ You see, stress is a matter of perception. Therefore, how you perceive — or look at things and events will determine your stress level. A stressor can only causes stress if you look at it negatively. Real simple, you can either be the person who grumbles, sighs and curses when a train is delayed or you can be the person who takes the inconvenience with a shrug.
According to Nancy Nicolson, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, typical daily annoyances cause only a minor increase — 10 to 15% — in cortisol levels. But by happening more frequently, these small fluctuations can add up.
Conclusion? By simply having a more positive outlook on life, you will feel less stressful. And also, read author Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff. “Life is a process–just one thing after another. When you lose it, just start again.”