Control Freak Boss Can Lead to Diabetes in Women
9/20/2012 12:00:00 PM
Stress management for women – especially for working women – is crucial! Life in and of itself has ups and downs that can feul stress. Then factor balancing schedules, being a wife and/or mother, and even being the key breadwinner – you have a recipe for a stress explosion! And then if you have a control freak of a boss – they are doubling your chances of developing diabetes!
I read recently a study published in Occupational Medicine found that women who lack control at work are twice as likely to develop diabetes than those who have workplace autonomy (aka – more freedom without all that micromanagement) . Women’s Health Magazine breaks down how this happens:
Why Women Are at Risk
While the study didn’t directly investigate why low job control leads to diabetes in women and not men (follow-up studies, anyone?), researchers believe it could have to do with the way men and women respond to stress: Women’s hormonal makeup makes us more likely to turn to unhealthy habits like eating high-fat, high-sugar comfort foods. What’s more, women have a tougher time lowering their levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. When levels remain high, this can affect how the body handles sugars and fat which can lead to obesity, a precursor to diabetes, says Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., founder of the Stress Institute.
Another reason could be career choice. Women are less likely to get exercise through their jobs, which can actually reduce stress through the release of endorphins.
What’s a Micromanaged Girl to Do?
“Realize that stress comes from the inside out. You can’t eliminate all of your stressors, but you can change how you respond to them,” says Hall, who notes that the job market has many emotionally battered employees in a bind. So while you ask—and then wait—for that promotion, focus on managing your stress at work, she says. When your stress hormone levels lower, your body can use its energy for more productive things, like earning that promotion. Just remember: S-E-L-F:
S is for Serenity. “Take your brain somewhere else outside of work,” says Hall. How do you get to your happy place? Go there twice during each workday: Listen to music, practice deep breathing, or look at puppies on Pinterest for 3-5 minutes, says Hall. “The brain absolutely changes immediately,” Hall says. The result? More energy and less stress.
E is for Exercise…and endorphins. Walk the halls, take the stairs, or yoga it up in your cubicle. Walking around every few hours is associated with a 40% reduction in chronic diseases, and can slash stress big time, says Hall. Check out these seated yoga stretches that you can do at work—without too many weird looks from your colleagues.
L is for Love. Call someone during the day for some words of encouragement, says Hall. Studies show that even a 2- to 3-minute phone conversation between meetings can raise feel-good oxytocin and dopamine levels in the brain big time. Both have been linked to better moods and more energy.
F is for Food. “Our five senses get starved at work,” says Hall, who recommends accessorizing your office with everything from pictures and throws to headphones and scented candles (just don’t light them to avoid the wrath of HR). And lucky for those who prefer the sense of taste, food does a lot for a zapped brain. Stock your desk drawer with foods that are high in vitamin B6, such as bananas, seeds, and nuts: they help the body produce mood-boosting, attention-focusing serotonin. (Check out more foods that fight stress.)
And a word from me remember, you are not your job! You have a divine purpose and when you let that become the center of all you do, you won’t trip off the people and situations around you. When you change your persepctive, often your stress level will change. Yes, you will always have problems but don’t let the problems have you! Got a crazy boss? Pray for them and the strength for you to succeed in spite of them. Get a support system outside your job. (Sidebar: co-workers talk too much and you don’t want your words to get back to your boss!) In short, do not cut your life short because of stress that comes from your job. I hate to be morbid, but if you lose your health you can end your life early. Your boss and co-workers may send flowers and a card to your family. They may even cry. But at the end of the day, they will find someone to replace you.
Stress can be deadly and you have too much to live for – outside your job!