Thursday, May 3, 2012

Squeezing out Stress

A LeMOMade feature where readers can exchange ideas and inspiration about how they cope with stress.
Two clogged toilets, one kid who fell asleep on the couch (which means he's probably getting sick), four kids who need homework help, two kids who aren't listening to anything I ask them to do, a hubby who's stuck on a conference call, a mom with severe lack of sleep, a kid who needs help printing pictures for a 4th grade assignment, I haven't started dinner or changed the laundry and a headache that just won't quit......I AM NOT STRESSED! REALLY, I'm NOT.
(send chocolate QUICK!!!)
~ Recent Facebook status of Carrie, awesome mom of the Five Fab, blogger at My Mad Fab World, and LeMOMade's very first guest contributor!

Carrie is not alone. Busy women around the world are stressed OUT! What do most women do to handle stress? According to a study published in the July 2000 issue of Psychological Review, women were more likely to deal with stress by nurturing those around them and reaching out to others. Researchers label this reaction as "Tend and Befriend" which is much different from men's response to stress - the Fight or Flight strategy. Researchers discovered one reason women cope with stress in this way is due in large part to oxytocin combined with female reproductive hormones. With smaller amounts of oxytocin, men tend to keep stress to themselves and escape with a distraction, or fight back.

In a recent post on her blog. Carrie describes how she deals with stress. Here are two ways she "tends and befriends" in response to chaos in her life. She writes:

I have friends. Friends who make me laugh when I am being stupid. Friends who listen to my occasional rant, sometimes commiserate with me. Friends who aren't afraid to tell me that I'm being petty, argumentative, selfish, etc. Friends who will pick up a phone or send me an email or private message. Friends who will make me giggle when I need it most. Friends who will take my Fabs so I can have a moment's peace. Friends who can tell me that I'll get through this, that I will survive, and that it will eventually be ok. Not perfect, but ok. You need to have friends in your life who are willing to speak the truth to you - even if it stings a bit. Friends who will encourage you, challenge you and help you grow.
I have prayer. You might not think this is important, but I beg to disagree. When all the world is crumbling around you, if you can just stop and pray, it changes your mindset, your mood, your outlook. Prayer has the wonderful ability to bring things back into proper perspective if you let it. Not only do I have the power to pray for myself., but I have the power to pray for others - and this is huge to me. When I stop to think about the friends I have who will stop whatever is happening in their lives, and give up just 1-2 minutes out of their crazy, hectic day to pray for ME, little ME, it gives me such feelings of warmth, value, friendship, hope, peace and love all wrapped up in one small prayer. No, it doesn't answer all my questions, take away all my fears, fix all of my problems, but it does make a huge difference in my thinking, my actions, my faith.
Like Carrie, friendship and prayer have helped me through many stressful times. What do you do squeeze out stress? Share your ideas with LeMOMade!

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