Why Strong Women Have More Anxiety and 5 Ways They Can Cope


, ,
women have more anxiety

Your anxiety is not a reflection of your strength and your anxiety is not a deficit in your faith. I put a video out on Instagram where I talked about why your anxiety is not a deficit in your faith. I got a lot of good feedback from women that the video spoke to them. I encourage you to watch it. 

So here’s the thing- we are all experiencing an increased level of stress. It’s in the air. Even if you are enjoying your self-isolation, even if you are not really affected by the pandemic, the anxious energy is affecting you. And if you are reading this decade in the future it all still applies, because life brings stress.

Stress is caused by being ‘HERE’, but wanting to be 'THERE'

Stress Vs. Anxiety

Stress doesn’t have to equal anxiety, but it is definitely the gateway drug for anxiety. So, what’s the difference? Stress is external. It is a bombardment of outside things. Stress is moving, it’s having a baby, it’s losing a job, it’s a global pandemic. It’s happening outside of you. 

Anxiety is internal. When you open the door to stress and say “come on in! Mi casa es su casa”, stress has turned into anxiety, which is the physical and emotional manifestation of stress.

Managing Stress And Anxiety

Stress will always be there. I think we should work hard to remove drama from our lives, but it is not productive to try to remove stress. We need to know how to manage stress and manage anxiety when we have let stress in the door. And it’s also not possible to completely rid ourselves of anxiety. The people who seem to have done that are just super good at managing it, so that they are stopping it very early after it’s stuck its foot in the door.

High Functioning Anxiety

I have a number of clients who judge their own anxiety. They are strong women who feel that if they are strong enough, if their faith is deep enough, if they are smart enough, then they wouldn’t have anxiety. But anxiety is a human condition. If even Jesus experienced anxiety (watch my insta video where I talk about that), then you will too, because you can not escape your humanity until you are dead.

Read How To Live More Authentically? Why You Need To Shed Your Masks

What Is A Strong Woman?

First, let’s just get a working definition of a strong woman. I have begun this definition of what I think a strong woman is. I don’t feel like it’s perfect yet, but it’s a good base for what we’re talking about today.

A strong woman is someone who shares her opinions and speaks her truth-  even when she is afraid. She listens but refuses to accept other problems as her own. She can be leaned on but is nobody’s doormat. She leads well but possesses the wisdom to submit to leadership. She takes calculated risks and makes her failures work for her. She knows when to persevere and when to quit. She prays for wisdom over wealth or power. She is filled with kindness, generosity, faith, compassion, integrity, and a willingness to be vulnerable. No matter what, she is true to herself.

Strong Women Don’t Have An Attitude

If you are thinking, “but I’m not strong… That definition is not me!” Please know that is an aspirational definition. No one is all of that, all of the time. I am not, nor will I likely ever be on a consistent basis. But that is who I strive to be. And in striving, I get closer and more consistent every day.

Read 10 Things Strong Women Love About Men

Why Strong Women Have More Anxiety

Strong women (and those striving to be) sometimes have an extra dose of anxiety for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, strong women take on more stress. If you are adept at what you do, if you have grown stronger in an area or multiple areas of your life, you will naturally take on more than a woman who has not, which increases opportunities for anxiety to take hold.

Secondly, strong women are smarter. Why do I say that? Because it takes a level of intelligence to pursue strength. Surviving something is not the same as becoming strong. Becoming strong is a purposeful journey. We have to work through the mind’s natural inclination to acquiesce to life’s burdens. So, strong women are smarter, and guess what? The higher your IQ, the more you are likely to experience anxious feeling

It really is true that ignorance is bliss. If you don’t understand all the possible ways that something can go wrong, you are going to be considerably less stressed than someone who is quite aware.

So anxiety is not a weakness, it can actually be a byproduct of strength. Your anxiety is also a not a deficit in your faith, but is a byproduct of allowing stress in the door.

Tools To Cope With Anxiety

Now we understand the flip side to strength can be anxiety, but the light in this tunnel is that we also have the mental capacity and strength to tackle it just like we do all the other things in our lives.

1. There’s a great app called Headspace.

I have used it and my clients have been raving about it.
I highly suggest it for helping to tackle anxiety. 

2. Worry productively.

Part of being a strong woman is having some wisdom. Wisdom sees the big picture. Looking ahead can cause worry. Looking behind caused depression. When I speak to strong women about staying in the moment, I often get the push back. “Well, I have to plan. I have to see ahead. I need to plan for what might happen.” And they are right. Yes, you do. But we often mislabel worrying for planning. 

A Day Of Worry Is More Exhausting, Than A Day Of Work

Planning is not the problem. It’s a worry. What we often do is come up with all the possible horror story scenarios and we never resolve them in our minds, and that causes anxiety. If you are going to plan for all possible outcomes, then you must also take the time to plan the resolution of those outcomes. If this happens: this will be my plan of action. That is productive worrying. My next tip is:

3. When you are feeling overwhelmed, you must enlist help.

Create a mantra for yourself: ‘done is better than perfect, perfect doesn’t exist’.
Repeat that please, because good enough can be amazing.

Read Depressed And Anxious Teens: Experts Give Practical Advice On How To Help (Including Checklists)

4.  Exercise daily and do progressive muscle relaxation exercises daily.

Lay on the bed or couch- you can do it in a chair at work if necessary. Identify a muscle group like your arm or leg.
Tighten it as tight as you can get it and hold for 10 seconds, then release. Do this all over your body once or twice.
It helps to relieve tension held in your body.

5.  Never avoid your fears.

This actually grows them. Confront them, while minimize unnecessary triggers like watching the news. 

Anxiety can get the best of any of us. Recognize it for what it is, enlist the help of others, and practice tools to take care of yourself. 

You’ve got this!

Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.

Written by: Dr. Zoe Shaw
Originally appeared on: Drzoeshaw.com
Republished with permission
women have more anxiety pin
women have more anxiety pinop

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

How To Control Obsessive Thoughts: 7 Tips To Embrace Mental Clarity And Find Serenity

Obsess No More: How to Control Obsessive Thoughts Like a Pro

Do you ever feel disturbed by never-ending intrusive and distressing thoughts? Do you feel trapped in a loop of obsessive thoughts that invade your mind? Thoughts that affect your mental peace and keep you from enjoying the present moment? If yes, then it’s time you find out how to control obsessive thoughts.

Obsessive thoughts can be persistent, overwhelming, and exhausting. So let’s explore what are obsessive thoughts, their signs, their causes, and most importantly, effective strategies to gain control over them. 

So, let’s embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn how to tame the wild horses of our minds.

What are Obsessive Thoughts?

Up Next

Waking Up Feeling Anxious In The Morning? How To Deal With Morning Anxiety

Morning Anxiety: How To Deal With Anxiety After Waking Up

Do you experience anxiety after waking up in the morning? A terrible anxiety in the morning you just don’t know how to deal with it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article is going to talk about morning anxiety and how to deal with morning anxiety, so that your mornings feel more relaxed, calm and peaceful.

If you commonly wake up in the morning filled with anxiety, you are not alone. Many people wake up with fight-or-flight sensations and feel baffled as to how they can already feel anxious when their feet haven’t even touched the floor yet.

A variety of factors can play a part in morning anxiety: excess stress,

Up Next

13 Ways To Quiet A Worried Mind

Ways To Quiet A Worried Mind

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy for our minds to be overloaded with worrisome thoughts. So, how to deal with anxious thoughts? Here are 13 effective ways to quiet a worried mind, offering you the serenity and clarity you need to navigate life’s challenges with ease.

Our minds are basically recorders that play (and replay) their soundtracks all day long, sometimes all night long too. Some people have recordings that tend to be more pleasant and present. Some people’s thinking patterns lean towards the optimistic or realistic side.

Others, not so much. Many people are plagued with worrisome thoughts that lead them to feel chronically stressed, anxious, dep

Up Next

Is Your Child Anxious? 3 Anxiety Symptoms In Children You Shouldn’t Ignore and How To Help

Anxiety Symptoms In Children You Shouldn't Ignore

Does your child struggle with irrational fears and worries? While these could be a normal part of growing up, they could also be signs of something more serious. Let’s take a look at anxiety symptoms in children.

As parents, we often strive to create a safe and nurturing environment for our children, but sometimes, we may overlook the subtle signs of mental health issues that they exhibit. Today, we are going to shed light on what causes anxiety in children, its signs, and how to treat anxiety in children.

By understanding these crucial aspects, we can provide the support and care our children need to navigate their anxiety and flourish.

What is Anxiety in Children?

Up Next

6 Hallmarks Of A High Strung Personality: Navigating The Taut Wire

Signs Of A High Strung Personality

Do you ever feel like you’re wound up like a tight spring? If your answer is yes, then chances are you have a high strung personality. You feel like you are on the edge all the time and only a little flick will throw you off.

Stress and anxiety are your best friends, and no matter how much you may try to relax and let go of your uptight nature, it just doesn’t seem to work. However, don’t think that there’s something wrong with you. You are a perfectly normal human being, who just feels a bit more anxious than other people (stop being too hard on yourself!)

Today, we are going to talk about what does being high strung really means, what causes high strung personality, and how to stop being high strung. Let’s first talk about what is a high strung personality.

Up Next

Debunking Anxiety Myths: 9 False Beliefs About Anxiety That You Shouldn’t Fall For

Anxiety Myths: Lies You've Been Told About Anxiety

Do you often feel anxious or have worries that seem to consume your thoughts? If so, you may be suffering from anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety is often misunderstood, leading to the perpetuation of various anxiety myths and misconceptions.

Anxiety is a common experience that affects millions of people worldwide. Today, let us delve into the realm of anxiety myths, debunking them one by one to shed light on the truth behind these widely held misconceptions. 

So, let’s embark on this journey together and challenge our preconceived notions about anxiety.

9 Anxiety Myths You Must Know About

Ready to debunk common

Up Next

Know The Key Variances: 7 Major Differences Between Anxiety And Stress

Understanding Major Differences Between Anxiety And Stress

Whenever you feel overwhelmed or frazzled, you tend to chalk it up to being stressed out. Even though it is definitely possible, sometimes there’s more to it than stress. In this article we are going to talk about a couple of differences between anxiety and stress.

Anxiety and stress might appear like two peas in a pod, but they are more like distant cousins at a family gathering. For sure, they have similarities yet each has its own unique symptoms.

So, let’s explore the differences between stress vs anxiety, and find out more about them. But first, let us understand what they mean.