Remember Billy Joel’s advice – working too hard can give you a heart attack! He’s right. The science has shown it! And, you guessed it, it is worse for women. In fact, women in corporate America have been shown to suffer from heart attacks at a rate 7x that of their non-working girlfriends. Why? It’s the stress. But, how does stress do this?
Here’s the catch. Men in the workforce respond to stress with testosterone. Masculine energy (force) requires masculine hormones. Unfortunately, when women use lots of masculine energy and are under stress they are fueled by an increase in cortisol – the stress hormone. On a biochemical level, cortisol depletes our progesterone which in turn can lead to imbalances with our estrogen and testosterone as well. All of this can lead to the “stress” (apple-shaped) belly with its ensuing risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease.
So, what’s a working woman supposed to do??? Well, we can start by learning more about the amazing source of power that comes with femininity. Feminine forms of power have changed the world and, I have found more professional success and much less stress by tapping into these unique powers.
Secondly, we can learn how to reboot or replenish ourselves. Before I share some tips, I want to first talk about our Divine genetic design. As women, our brains have been created to have Diffuse Awareness. Diffuse means pouring out in every direction. From our ancient days, we were created to be able to watch our offspring and be sure that they did not eat the poisonous berries over on the other side of the field, or be attacked by a predator in the other direction. Indeed, that was very helpful for the longevity of humans. Today, it may look like you’re on the phone juggling business, making dinner, trying to parent your children, or helping them with their schoolwork (especially during COVID isolation days!). If you’re in the office all day, it may look like managing a few committees, paperwork, and demands from all directions!!
Unfortunately, there is a downside to our “Diffuse Awareness”. We notice everything! Have you ever walked into a room and noticed a picture hanging crooked? Have you ever walked by a pillow and just had to straighten it? It’s like the Pillow is screaming at us, “Fix me, I’m crooked”! We walk into a room, with the one intention and see something out of place and get sidetracked handling that! It’s crazy- but we do it all the time. And it can leave us exhausted! There will always be something to do and something that is calling for our attention.
Diffuse awareness keeps us ON all the time. The result – our vitality is diminished!
The antidote is Zone Time! What is Zone Time? Well, have you noticed that sometimes you can be swept away, and time just slips by? You’ve actually been so single-focused, that a pot on the stove may have boiled dry? Zone time for women is, amazingly, the only time we effortlessly get singled focused and the noise quiets down.
“Zone Time” for you may be:
Can you remember a time that you actually did NOT notice your kiddos or did not respond because you were ZONED OUT? Ah, it’s a good idea to plan your Zone Time so your kids are taken care of AND you really can ZONE out. Perhaps you can negotiate with others to make this happen. It really pays off- big time! It’s a chance for you to reset your nervous system. It’s a chance for you to turn off your Sympathetic (Survival) Nervous System and tap into your ParaSympathetic (Pretty Safe) Nervous System. Every time you do this, you WILL lower your cortisol or stress hormones and you will reduce your risk of heart disease.
I will go into more details on this in upcoming blogs and my new FREE PDF will be launched soon. In the meantime, start noticing what activities just sweep you away. Spend a few minutes each day doing one of those activities even if it’s only for 5 minutes. These simple 5 minutes can help, like compound interest, fill your Vitality tank and save your heart.