Today is the last day of 2016’s National Women’s Health Week. We’ve acknowledged it here at HealthyBlackWoman.com by providing content, which covers issues of health pertaining to women.
On this day, we’re going to discuss one of the most commonly experienced, yet biggest silent killer of black women: STRESS. People in all walks of life deal with stress for a wide variety of reasons. It’s a common occurrence. However, the adverse health repercussions of stress are largely overlooked.
The American Insitute of Stress reported that 44 percent of American adults feel that they are more stressed now than they were five years ago. Additionally, one-in-five of the adults polled said they are dealing with “extreme stress” in their lives.
Women, in particular, are dealing with adverse stress-related health conditions like heart disease, which is the number one killer of women, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A curious observer of this issue would probably question why this is the case.
“In a society that glorifies hard work and multitasking, we all are susceptible to being overworked and burned out,” said Kathleen Isaac, MPhil, in an interview with MadameNoire.com. Issac is currently a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology.
“The danger of pushing ourselves too much is that we put ourselves at risk for adverse health conditions related to stress,” Issac went on to say. Stress can also deteriorate your ability to enjoy everyday things, such as eating right, mild exercise, and even engaging in intimate activity.
Issac also said that black Americans are even more susceptible to stress because of the constant racism and bigotry they experience in society. She quotes:
“African Americans who experience both overt and covert discrimination (i.e. microaggressions) in their daily lives may be susceptible to higher levels of stress. The actual levels of stress will vary, however, depending on individual factors such as sensitivity to racism (how aware one is of being discriminated against) and coping style.” (Madame Noire)
Developing a healthy work-life balance and prioritizing rest are some ways that stress can be reduced. Taking what may seem like small steps toward managing time and activities in your daily life are actually big steps away from experiencing bad health, which is brought on by stress.