Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Anxiety and Stress by Executive Women
The science finally and definitively confirms what many women leaders have known for decades: High achieving women in leadership positions experience consistently higher levels of anxiety and stress, as well as elevated levels of psychological distress than their male counterparts. The reasons for the stress are many and varied, such as greater societal expectations for domestic responsibilities, a larger social stigma surrounding being a female in a position of authority, and the overarching frustration that comes from consistently lower wages for the same work as men. Regardless the root cause, the fact of the matter is that women in professional settings tend to experience greater health risks associated with anxiety and stress.
The Guilt To Having A Life
To make matters worse, women also experience a higher degree of guilt for their stress and anxiety. Overwhelmingly, professional women experience guilt for experiencing stress – a statement that sounds insane when it is examined. This guilt for experiencing anxiety in turn creates a vacuum in the professional woman’s life, causing her to push past the distress in her life and neglect her own mental wellbeing. Female professionals are less likely to take time off when sick, less likely to take a vacation, and less likely to turn down additional responsibilities even when overwhelmed than men. The guilt associated with taking time off for relaxation, healing when sick, or saying “no” when overburdened is often overwhelming for many women in professional fields.
The Ultimate Toll It Takes On Executive Women
Unfortunately, the science is also clear when it comes to the physical and psychological toll this can take. Occupational stress overload in women can be directly linked to heart disease, eating disorders, ulcers, reduced immune system strength, sleeping disorders, and migraines. With such clear and direct consequences, it is high time women learn to breathe and care for their own mental and physical well-being.
How To Fight Back: Breathe.
Take five minute walks around the office every hour. Designate one hour a day to quiet reflection or reading. Plan one “me” day a month. Take up a yoga class. Don’t go to work when sick. Show kindness to yourself, and you will find that not only will your health improve, but your work will do the same.
Your time for personal revolution is now: Are you able, ready, and willing to seize it?
Until then, Be Limitless and Discover Your Next.
What’s Your Next?