Women, stress and heart disease
Stress. The word sounded in the twentieth century, brought to life by the intensity of the century. Pressure at home, at work, pressure from superiors, spouses, tax collectors. Once it applied only to men. But not now.
Some experts say that the pressure on women, especially on working women, is even greater. Women tend to take care of everything. And in the workplace, and at home, their duties have no end. As well as the requirements for them by others. All this pressure creates stress, contributing to the emergence of many diseases, including heart disease, the number one killer.
“Women are torn between duties at work and in the family, says Margaret A. Chesney, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. Even when a husband shares homework with his wife, women most often charge themselves with the obligation to ensure that everything is done.
Both working men and working women increase the tone of cardiovascular activity during the working day, Dr. Chesney notes, but in the evening the picture of cardiovascular activity in men and women becomes completely different. Men are characterized by recession, relaxation, which begins when they return home. In women, on the contrary, arousal occurs, which extends to the evening. ” In other words, the woman does not slow down by the end of the day, her working day continues at home.
What causes stress? “To chest pain, meets Linny Lindholme, Ph.D., head of cardiology research at the Department of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Women who have a bad heart, or those who are at risk of heart disease, need to understand what is overloaded. Very often, women receive the only opportunity to rest only when they are ill. Such is the price of their rest. ”
Women must learn to stop themselves, redistribute work among others, and learn to say no. “The hardest thing is no. I ask those whom I advise: “Do you lose your job or make enemies for yourself if you sometimes say no?” We must find ways to change behavioral habits, advises Dr. Lindholm. When someone makes a request or a suggestion to you, develop a habit of saying: “Can I answer you later?” Then choose a quiet place in your office, a chair and think. It is so easy to say yes and be caught at a word earlier than you realize what you agreed to. If you mentally imagine how busy you are now, you will be able to realistically estimate the time it will take to fulfill a request or offer. Then it will be easier to call back the person who turned to you and politely refuse. ”
Dorothy Metzger knows for herself how difficult it is to refuse. But with the help of Dr. Lindholm, she made progress. “It seems to everyone that I am working with great enthusiasm, and I always experience stress. Sometimes this state lasts for months, until all of me find myself in the grip of chest pain, Dorothy admits. I always knew about the connection between diet and heart disease, but I didn’t understand at all what stress might lead to. ”
Dr. Lindholm helped Dorothy understand what constant tension can turn into and taught her the simplest ways to relieve stress. “Now I am watching my load and, when it grows, I can deal with the problem before it affects my heart,” she says. I have no chest pains anymore. ”