Rub and Yawn

Men and women respond differently to stress

Posted on: March 25, 2010

Excerpted from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100323121755.htm:

ScienceDaily (Mar. 23, 2010) — Age and gender play a major role in how people respond to stress, according to a new study on 20-to-64-year-olds. Published in the journal Psychophysiology, the investigation was led by scientists from the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute in collaboration with colleagues from the Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University.

“Our findings suggest that women who are more defensive are at increased cardiovascular risk, whereas low defensiveness appears to damage the health of older men,” says Bianca D’Antono, a professor at the Université de Montréal Department of Psychiatry and a Montreal Heart Institute researcher.

Defensiveness is a trait characterized by avoidance, denial or repression of information perceived as threatening. In women, a strong defensive reaction to judgment from others or a threat to self-esteem will result in high blood pressure and heart rate. Contrarily, older men with low defensive reactions have a higher cardiovascular rates.

Note how the persons undergoing this study responded to the threatening information, by avoidance, denial or repression. None of these methods is healthy. The only sensible way to deal with threatening information — this is threatening information, not threatening sticks or stones or fists or even loud voices — is to work towards calmly accepting it. The fact that men and women responded differently in the study is irrelevant, as they weren’t studying the right thing!

What makes some information hard to accept is the emotional charge associated with it. Rub & Yawn provides several techniques for painlessly discharging this unwanted emotional energy. Once the heavy emotional content has been bled off, then the plain information can easily be accepted for what it is.

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