Women & Stress

Stress is on the rise for women as they struggle to find a balance between their homes and careers. Sometimes it’s not easy to recognize the signs of stress, and what a woman can do to combat it.

Women Are More Stressed Than Men

Women report feeling higher levels of stress. Average stress levels rated on a 10-point scale:

  • Average Stress Level for Men:  4.6
  • Average Stress Level for Women:  5.3

Women and Stress

It has often been shown that women are the worriers and often do not make time to manage their health and take care of themselves. The infographic below shows how stress can affect women and offers effective strategies to help them reduce the negative effects of everyday stressors.

A Happy Marriage Reduces Stress and Promotes Health and Longevity

References: Vaillant GE. AGING WELL: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development. Little, Brown and Co. New York, 2002. Health and Stress Newsletter by The American Institute of Stress, #5, #7 2005, #10 2002, #7 2000, #9 1999.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development is the longest and most comprehensive investigation of the aging process ever conducted. Since the 1930s, researchers have closely followed more than 800 men and women from adolescence to old age to seek clues about behaviors and activities that are associated with healthy longevity. Some of the findings surprised George Vaillant, a former director of this project and author of Aging Well. He anticipated that “the longevity of your parents, the quality of your childhood and cholesterol levels would be very influential.” They were not. Keeping mentally active and having lots of friends were much more important. A happy marriage or good long-termrelationship at age 50 was a leading indicator of being healthy at age 80 whereas a low cholesterol level had very little significance.

Why would a happy marriage or having lots of friends promote healthy aging? Stress can accelerate the aging process, however, having strong social and emotional support from friends or family can reduce the harmful effects of stress. Stress contributes to illness and premature mortality and reducesthe immune system’s ability to ward off infections and certain cancers. British researchers reported that in a study of more than 180 senior citizens who received the influenza vaccine, those who were happily married developed higher antibodies, and participants who had experienced a significant bereavement had poorer antibody responses.

Routine Activities Adults Do When Feeling Stressed


pray in private


play online games for a few hours


exercise or play sports


recreational shopping