Girls Are Always Stressed!

Is it better to be a male or female when dealing with stress? My guess was females, because looking back at chapter 7 in Sapolsky’s Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, I realized that the affects of stress, specifically on the reproductive system, is a lot worse for females than it is for males. Males face dilemmas like premature ejaculation and loss of erection, while females have to deal with issues as drastic as irregular menstruation, miscarriages, and fertilization failure. In the chapter 7 PowerPoint, not only did females have a greater quantity of problems that came with stress, but I think the conflicts that they encountered were drastically less favorable than those of which men had to deal with. I did a bit more research on the topic, and I found that girls are better at coping with stress than boys. This surprised me, because it seemed like women have it much worse than men according to Sapolsky. A study shows that stress causes more of a reaction in the blood pressure of males opposed to females.

The following sites contain more information on this subject:
http://www.malehealth.co.uk/stress/19016-do-boys-suffer-stress-more-girls
http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/who-do-you-think-has-more-stressboys-or-girls/question-461193/

The Most Stressful

So we have learned a lot about stress this semester. We have been blogging about stressors and stress relief, and we all have seen stressful experiences people have been through. Knowing that this class is coming to an end, I was looking over posts and thinking about all the stress people face. This made me wonder what would top the list of the most stressful things that people faced. I thought to myself for a while, and kind of constructed my own list with the obvious things, like: school, a job, a relationship, death, and driving. What stressors do you face the most? If you made a list of the most stressful things, what would be on the list? After doing some research, I found a list of the top 10 most stressful things in life:
1. Divorce / Breakup
2. Bereavement
3. Losing job
4. Wedding planning
5. Work
6. Kids / Family
7. Debt
8. Commuting
9. Studying for exams
10. Pregnancy
Does anything on this list surprise you? The thing that stood out to me most was “kid/family”, because when I think about it, it is also a form of stress relief, especially for people like me, college students, who are away from home and dealing with stressful things, like exams and work, which are both on the list. Getting the chance to see or talk to my family usually brightens my day when I’m not feeling too well. If you had a chance to change this list, what alterations would you make?

The following sites contain different lists, take a look to see if these lists more accurately cover the most stressful life events:
http://healthylife.typepad.com/loving-healthy-living/2010/01/top-ten-most-stressful-life-events.html
http://www.cbc.ca/edmonton/features/stressed-out/stress-events.html

Assignment #22: Boxing

A stress management technique that I would like to use is boxing. When I work out, I do the speed bag, which is a form of training for boxers. The speed bag is a great way to help relieve stress, because it is a form of exercise, which is a proven way to relieve stress. I am sure actual boxing is a lot more effective than the training. Because boxing is an obvious form of physical exercise and conditioning, it is good for the body in dealing with stress, according to Sapolsky. The author says exercise “lowers the blood pressure, lowers the resting heart rate, and increases lung capacity”, all of which are negatively affected by stress (395). Continuing with the fact that it is exercise, boxing will decrease the risk for multiple diseases, whether metabolic or cardiovascular (Sapolsky 401). Sapolsky says that this hinders stress’ ability to worsen diseases. Studies show that exercise improves your mood, which can only be good for a person dealing with a lot of stress. According to the author, your stress response system will activate in preparation for exercise, which lowers the tension caused by stress. In boxing, you make new social connections through trainers, competition, and supporters, which can help an individual form social support. While training, boxers often talk to their trainers. These conversations can be about a stressful situation the fighter is enduring or just a casual conversation that incurs laughter. During these conversations the boxer is getting these problems off his chest while simultaneously training, which can be considered social support and exercise, which Sapolsky writes are useful forms of stress management. According to Sapolsky, displacing frustration is a form of dealing with stress as well, for instance the rats gnawing rats. Humans boxing are similar to the stress-facing rats gnawing. Studies show that boxing is a controlled environment where one can work off built up adrenaline. Boxing fits into multiple categories that Sapolsky calls stress management, so it must be affective.

The following video illustrates how boxing can be exercise and social support:

Drink the Stress Away

Why do people go to the bar when they are stressed? I thought about the reason that people drink when they are having a bad day. Can alcohol really help you cope with stress? In shows and movies, characters tend to go to the bar or to a party to have a drink if they need to deal with a stressful situation. I have friends and family that say they drink to help deal with the issues they encounter in life. Many of my relatives and acquaintances go out to have a drink when they feel “stressed”. I don’t think drinking helps a stressful situation. I think people that drink to deal with stress believe the alcohol helps, so it actually works, like some type of placebo effect. Also people may think they have a better time when they drink alcohol, so if they are having a better time its easier to relieve stress.

I wanted to know the real answer, so I did some research on this topic. I found that alcohol can relieve or intensify stress, so some people that believe they are helping there situation may actually be making the stress worse. Alcohol consumption may stimulate or reduce the release of hormones that respond to stressors. Studies show that low doses of alcohol may help, but there are numerous factors that affect this. One factor is the reason for drinking, for instance; some people are social drinkers, which are possibly tied to stress. Alcoholism is also a factor. Research shows chronic stress causes people to drink more. Although many people clamim that alcohol helps deal with stress, studies show that it actually does the opposite.

These sites contain extra info on the subject:
http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/alerts/l/blnaa32.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=54999

Healthy Sex= Less Stress

After doing some research, I found multiple ways that a healthy sex life yields positive influences for people. Sex is a form of exercise, so it shouldn’t be too suprising that it can be good for stress. Sex takes your mind of of stressful thoughts, relaxes feelings of tension, and provides a connection vital in intimate relationships. Studies show that sex is a great medicine when it comes to stress. Whether casual or marital, intercourse or any type of sexual contact, even contact as minor as hugging and kissing, can positively affect levels of stress.

Sex is a source of communication in relationships, and communication is crucial in successful relationships. Healthy sex helps lighten the burden of a cluttered or overwhelmed brain. Exercise promotes better health, so sex is beneficial for the body too, for instance; sex decreases stress which can cause a decrease in the frequency of illness. Good sex has the ability to relax you, and if you are less stressed, there is more room for happiness. Therefore a healthy sex life may put you in a generally good mood.

Here are some sources with more info:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28146086/ns/health-mental_health/

http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2010/09/20/26264/

Top 10 Stress Relievers

Have you ever been stressed without knowing how to treat the issue? Has there ever been a time when you felt like you’ve tried everything to clear your mind, but absolutely nothing worked? If I am stressed and every attempt to relieve the tension is a failure, I would love a place to find more ways to help my body get over the stress. I would want to know the best ways to relax my brain. I would greatly appreciate input from other people about ways that they made it through a stressful situation, especially regarding instances similar to my own. I believe it makes a stress-filled circumstance much more stressful when you have no idea how to relieve the stress. Here is a list of the best ways to treat your stress:
TOP 10 STRESS RELIEVERS
1. Breathing Exercises
2. Meditation
3. Guided Imagery
4. Visualizations
5. Keeping A Journal/Self-hypnosis
6. Massage/Exercise
7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
8. Sex
9. Music Therapy
10. Yoga

I’m sure everyone has different preferences when it comes to relieving stress, but as we know what we enjoy does not always work. Also, I think it is a good idea to try new things and jump out of your “norm” once in a while. Who knows… maybe you will try something new and like it better than what you usually do. Personally, I have never tried the top 2 on the list, and my preferred stress relievers are not even in the top 5! Therefore the order of the list is completely scrambled in my view. Does this list truly represent the top 10 stress relievers? Possibly the order of the list is the problem, the list could be missing routines practiced by some people, or maybe the list does not cover enough stress treatments. I hope the list helps someone make it through a stressful time.
The following sites provide more information about these top stress relievers:
*http://stress.about.com/od/generaltechniques/tp/toptensionacts.htm
*http://www.dantest.com/stressreliver8.htm

Whers’s my iPod!?

Whenever I have an issue in my life I find myself listening to music. Although I like many different types of music, I tend to listen to certain genres depending on the situation, for example; if I have a stressful conflict with my girlfriend, R&B seems to cover the most soothing melodies. These thoughts made me do a little research on whether or not certain genres help relieve specific categories of stress. I considered some of the boxes I checked off while taking the early stress test, and I definitely turned to music when I faced some of the stressors on that list. I also thought about how exercise can help relieve stress, but there is people who dislike going to the gym, or maybe they don’t like exercising as a whole. If someone is opposed to working out, or is not in the mood to endure physical stress, they can listen to music. WHO DOESN’T LIKE MUSIC?

            I also wondered what other factors tied into how music could help relieve stress. While looking into this topic I found that things, such as: the tempo of the music, the mind state of the person trying to relieve stress, and what the person is doing, may tie into the effectiveness of the music relieving stress. I came across these sites while doing research:

http://www.holisticonline.com/stress/stress_music-therapy.htm

http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/daily_music.htm


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