Study reveals South African women are the seventh most stressed women in the world


The life of a South African woman is no picnic. Chances are that if you asked the average woman how she was feeling at 8.30 a.m. on any day of the week, her answer would be, “stressed!”

Just how stressful is a South African women’s life compared to other women around the world?

According to a recent Nielson Company survey, South African women are the seventh most stressed women in the world, close behind French women in fifth place. Topping the list as the most fretful females were women who live in India.

“Sixty-four per cent of South African women reported feeling stressed on a daily basis, according to this survey,” notes Robyn Farrell, managing director of 1st for Women Insurance.

The Women of Tomorrow Study surveyed 6500 women in 21 different nations between February and April this year, examining consumer and media habits of women.

Mexico, Russia, Brazil and Spain rounded out the top five of the list, while Sweden (44%),followed by Malaysia and then South Korea reported the lowest number of women who indicated feeling stressed.

The findings also showed that women in developing economies spend more of their disposable income on clothing, health and beauty items, groceries and education for their children.

“This pattern differs from the women surveyed in developed nations, who said they spent more of their spare money on holidays, savings and servicing debt,” says Farrell.

The results of the research provide an interesting snapshot of women across the globe.

“Women are more highly educated than ever before, are joining the workforce in greater numbers and contributing more to household income,” Farrell explains.

These findings are important in that they show that women have increasing spending power and, as a result, more influence over key household decisions.

“All women have experienced anxiety, stress or tension at some time or another, and these emotions often result from a feeling of not being able to cope with work, family obligations, financial obligations, and much more,” says Farrell.

Symptoms of stress include, but are not limited to exhaustion/tiring easily; muscle tension; heart palpitations; sweating or hot flushes; nausea; shortness of breath; feeling sad or depressed or helpless; difficulty concentrating; forgetfulness and increased sleep disturbances.

1st for Women suggests the follow tips and techniques for managing stress effectively:

Take a deep breath: Stress often causes us to breathe in a shallow manner, and this in turn almost always causes more stress. Take a minute to slow down and breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Then slowly exhale as you count to 10. The more you practice deep breathing, the more effective a stress-reduction technique it becomes.

Connect with others: A good way to combat depression, loneliness and boredom is to seek out activities involving others, such as neighbourhood and volunteer organisations.

Talk about your problems: Keeping your emotions unexpressed increases frustration and stress. Talking to a friend, family member or colleague can help clear your mind so that you can focus on problem solving.

Get physical: Find a physical activity you enjoy and make regular time for it. Running, walking or swimming are good options for some people, while others prefer dance or martial arts.

“Effectively juggling a career, a family life, a social life and a host of commitments is not a feat for the faint-hearted. By focusing on these tips you can ensure that you are best placed to manage your concerns, properly and quickly,” concludes Farrell.

We would also like to share info from an email which has gone viral:

Things to stop doing:

1.       Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

2.       Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

3.       Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.

4.       Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

5.       Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

6.       Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

7.       Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

8.       Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

9.       Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

10.   Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.

11.   Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

12.   Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

13.   Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

14.   Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

15.   Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

16.   Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

17.   Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

18.   Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

19.   Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

20.   Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.

21.   Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

22.   Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

23.   Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.

24.   Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.

25.   Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

26.   Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

27.   Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.

28.   Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

29.   Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

30.   Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing

So, when you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you!!

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