Career issues create stress for both genders. Women are currently forming small businesses at twice the rate of men, which is good news for women’s career development. The bad news may be that women are faced with more stressors at home and work. Women may often feel they have a second job that begins when they arrive home from work. A Swedish study of men and women automobile plant managers between the ages of 30 and 50 showed that the blood pressure and levels of stress hormones went up for everyone during the workday. Interestingly enough, at the end of the day blood pressure and stress readings dropped dramatically for men, while the women, who reported more tasks to perform at the end of the day, still had high readings, even at home. Women report they are more sleep deprived than ever before, because they cannot complete all of their chores and commitments. In summary, is a woman’s work is ever done?
Stress often creates medical problems for men, simply because they wait too long to address the issue. Only 20 percent of the people enrolled in stress management programs are males. The major health problems facing men today, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and even impotence have all been linked to stress. However, studies are showing that personality traits play a major role in one’s stress level whether you are a female or a male. More women are starting to wear many hats and assume new roles in their personal and professional life such as becoming a chief executive officer of a company or adopting children as a single mother.
The majority of men and women have either Type A or Type B personalities. Type A personalities are more prone to heart disease. They have higher stress levels, are more obsessive-compulsive, and are more easily provoked to anger and hostility. On the other hand, Type B personalities are laid back and are not as likely to have heart disease. They exercise better anger control. Perhaps because men tend to see relaxing as a time-waster, many of them are overachievers and highly competitive, all characteristics of Type A personality, and Type A personalities are more likely to have higher stress levels. In fact, women who develop an eating disorder typically have a higher IQ than the general population and they are more genetically predisposed to be more achievement oriented, and perfectionist. Therefore, they are more at risk to have higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. A winning solution would be to develop a Type C personality, where you incorporate the best of both Type A and Type B, but you learn to relax and maintain a balanced lifestyle. You can learn to work hard, reach high levels of achievement, and also feel laid back and as cool as a cucumber!