According to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, women report higher levels of stress at work than men. Two thirds of the 1,500 women surveyed said they have no opportunity to advance; half reported feeling unappreciated; and half felt as though they were underpaid. In general, one-third of employed women felt chronic stress due to work.
Findings from a nine-year study on women’s stress was also discussed in the Journal of Women’s Health. The authors found that the pressure of women in society – their vital place at home combined with their growing role in the workplace – is leading to substantial burnout in the middle-aged woman.
Finally, in her book “The Happiness Choice,” Marilyn Tam cites some happiness statistics for the female gender:
- Women’s overall level of happiness has decreased compared to what it was 40 years ago – and to men.
- The drop occurs regardless of their financial position, marital status, children, age, or race.
- According to a 2010 “Working Mother” survey, 40 percent of working women drink heavily to cope with stress and 57 percent said they have misused prescription drugs.
Tam discusses some antidotes for the unhappiness and stress in her book. I most appreciated her chapter on relationships because I always forget to find refuge there – in my friendships and family, thinking if only I finish the deadline I’m working on, then … only then will I feel at peace. The beautiful quotes peppered throughout her pages speak to the charge in energy and hope relationships can offer a barren psyche in we have the motivation to get out of the way:
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. –Carl Jung
And my favorite about staying focused on what is good and right:
Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation. –Alan Cohen