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The Worrisome Woman

The Worrisome Woman

“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” – Chinese Proverb

As a thought-provoking proverb, it poetically conveys a rational interpretation of an irrational feeling, known as a "Worry." Often the root cause of anxiety and fear, it is a needless emotion, but one we all experience regularly. The wise proverb mentions that while we cannot control the worries that enter our minds, we can control how long they stay.

As pretty as it sounds, it is much easier said than done.

The worrisome woman tends to let "birds build their nests" and for worries to overstay their welcome. Interestingly, men typically let their worries fly, releasing them long before they can make the mind a place to call home.

But why?

Do Women Worry More Than Men?

Research shows women are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as a man due to differences in brain functionality, hormones, social influence, life experiences, and biological makeup.

The part of the brain that activates the fight-or-flight response is stimulated more often in women and stays activated longer than men. In part, it is due to producing more of the hormones, estrogen, and progesterone. Women usually have low levels of the hormone, known as, Corticotropin-Releasing Factor (CRF), which is what organizes stress responses, making women twice as vulnerable as men to stress-related disorders. It is also known that learned behavior, trauma, relationships, and lifestyle choices can influence the development of anxiety.

The society we live in and the culture we live by is not a nurturing one for a worried soul, either. Often subjected to the exploitation of worries and anxiety-driven reinforcements, society makes it extremely difficult to escape the process of worrying. A “perfect storm” combination of many factors, creates the “Worrisome Women.” What troubles women the most are finances, family issues, and their own personal health. Worrying is meant to be a protective emotion reserved for times of extreme trouble.

However, this is often not the case, for many women.

Unfortunately, many feel out of control, uncomfortable, panicky, and fearful of what might or might not happen next.

Worrying also impacts health, and with this being one of the top concerns for women, a constant cycle of sickness can ensue. Issues with the digestive, central nervous, and immune systems are only a few of the effects anxiety can cause. As a result, it can hurt finances too due to the piling up of medical bills. Relying on family members to help with ailments causes even more worry, further aggravating the sickness.

For many, the weight of the world often feels like it rests upon their shoulders. The constant wrestling with anxiety is a frequent chore that is exhausting to deal with constantly.

But, the worrisome woman prevails.

“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” – Chinese Proverb

As we circle back to the proverb we started with, it is a helpful reminder. Although dealing with anxiety is difficult, do your best to keep the birds of worry from building their nests.

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