Why Do Some People Respond Differently to Stress?
Did you ever wonder why some people are able to deal with stress better than others? Maybe you have heard that women can handle stress better than men and if that is the case, why is this so? It is possible to learn about the differences in how men and women respond to stress so that you can better manage the challenges that life brings your way.
Women respond better to stress than men
Men and women react differently to stress, with women being better at coping with it. Women respond by increasing activity in areas of the brain related to emotion. For men, the response may be characterized by the fight or flight response.
Stress can lead to many different health problems. It also plays a role in the development of mental disorders. Studies have shown that females are twice as likely to develop anxiety and depression as males.
Gender differences in stress reactions may be related to hormones. Females are more sensitive to low levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. The hormone also has a protective effect on the brain.
Stress responses may also involve the right prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain that is associated with the ‘fight or flight’ response.
A new study in Molecular Psychiatry has provided additional insight into sex and stress. Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo investigated the brain activation patterns of male and female mice in the presence of stress.
The results of the study indicate that women have more complex stress responses. They are able to build social networks and alliances, which might help reduce stress.
The study also shows that women are better at responding to emotional expressions of stress. They are more likely to tend to their partners’ needs and seek advice.
Men and women also report different physical and mental symptoms of stress. Women are more likely to experience headaches, upset stomachs, and mood swings. In addition, men report more aggressive and escaping behaviors than women.
One explanation for sex differences in stress reactivity is the corticolimbic network. According to a theory developed by Bangasser and Valentino, the corticolimbic network is a network that facilitates the response to stress.
Men respond better using distraction
Distraction is a powerful stress-relieving tactic. Whether it is engaging in some form of physical activity, chatting with friends or family, or even taking a nap, distraction is a healthy way to deal with stress. Men and women are different in many ways. While women tend to seek out support and tend to engage in self-care, men are more likely to enlist the assistance of others, and are less likely to indulge in self-care. It is no surprise, then, that a recent study showed that women are a bit more adept at dealing with stress than their male counterparts.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers tasked 30 healthy young adults to partake in a WM task that required them to make an accurate albeit fast response to a number of distractors. Interestingly, they found that the actual task itself was no more taxing on men than it was on women.
The most interesting aspect of the test was that it also revealed the differences in the brain’s lateral prefrontal cortex. Women showed an enhanced sensitivity to emotional distractibility in brain regions associated with “hot” and “cold” executive processing. This may be attributed to their higher rates of emotional reactivity.
Another tidbit is that the best performer was a female participant who displayed the aforementioned alpha prefrontal cortex lateral prefrontal hemisphere. Although the results were statistically inconclusive, the results did evince a correlation between sex and WM performance, with women showing the greatest effect.
While it might not have been the most entertaining of tasks, the aforementioned findings do demonstrate that emotional distraction is a real thing. The most important takeaway is that a good distraction can save you from a bad situation and a bad day.
Acute vs chronic stress
Acute stress is a short-term reaction to a perceived threat. It is usually easily managed. However, chronic stress lasts for longer periods of time. This type of stress can have significant effects on mental and physical health. Chronic stress can lead to depression and a number of health problems.
People can experience acute stress in many different ways. One of the most common is being in a fight with a partner or receiving criticism from a boss. Another is facing a work deadline. You can also experience acute stress during a traumatic event, such as being a victim of a crime. The body releases stress hormones that make the heart beat faster, the muscles tense and the immune system work harder.
These hormones are released because the body perceives a threat. They help to prepare the body to fight or run from the danger. But, they can cause other problems, such as erectile dysfunction, infections in the testes and prostate, and reduced sexual desire.
Chronic stress can be caused by a number of factors, such as being overworked or in a toxic work environment. Chronic stress may contribute to the development of major depression, especially in cases where the person’s job performance is poor.
Chronic stress can be treated by changing your lifestyle. This includes changes in diet, exercise and mental health. Also, you can seek professional help. For example, you can find psychotherapy and medication to treat the condition.
Research is continuing in the fields of neurobiology, gene-environment interaction, and stress sensitization. All of these topics are shedding light on different aspects of the way acute and chronic stress affect the mind and body.
Chronic stress increases a person’s risk of everything from heart disease to metabolic disorders to impaired wound healing
The effects of chronic stress on the body are numerous. It increases the risk of metabolic disorders, heart disease, and impaired wound healing. These diseases may also lead to psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Consequently, people with chronic stress experience difficulties in their lives.
For example, it is thought that psychological stress can influence the immune system’s function. This is due to the fact that the body responds to chronic stress by releasing hormones and cytokines that affect the body’s immune system.
Among the hormones released by the body is cortisol, which is involved in energy production. In addition to suppressing the immune system, cortisol can lower circulating blood sugar. A decrease in the amount of interleukin-1b (IL-1b) is indicative of a decrease in the immune system’s ability to fight infection.
During the process of wound healing, a number of interactions take place between the body’s immune system and other components. Some of these are mediated by transforming growth factor beta, epidermal growth factor, tumor necrosis factor, and various interleukins.
There is also evidence that vitamin C can help protect the body from oxidative damage to cells. Several studies have shown that the risk of cardiovascular disease is decreased in individuals who consume the highest dietary intake of this antioxidant. However, the role of vitamin C in wound healing is not yet fully understood.
Studies are being conducted to determine the biomarkers of stress and whether they correlate with increased risk of a number of chronic diseases. As a result, researchers at the Yale Stress Center are developing new interventions to reduce the impact of stress on the body.