Filipinos and Stress


Stress is all around. You may say “I’m stressed” while stuck in the traffic, checking your credit card bills, thinking about your boss, your irritating neighbor, or your relationship with your romantic partner. It’s not always negative, though. Stress is our body’s own way to protect us from potential harm.

Based on the Survey of Reader’s Digest and Nielsen Media Research, they have found that more than two out of 5 Filipinos (43%) said they were affected by stress. CNN Philippines also have identified the top 3 stressors of the Filipino people are (1) Job or Studies, (2) Finances, and (3) Traffic.

John Henderson, regional director for Asia Pacific of Regus said that, “Difficult economic times in the West and an unprecedented rate of growth in emerging economies have put a strain on businesses and their employees. Workers are expected to do more with less, and this has taken its toll to the point many are close to burn out.”

In short, his research has revealed how stress-related illness can worsen or cause health conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.

Women and Stress

Stress can affect both men and women. But females, compared to the other specie react differently to it. Rather than responding with a “fight-or-flight” pattern involving aggressive behavior or withdrawal, female specie tend to protect and nurture during stressful circumstances. They also tend to seek company and support from others, especially by other females (a.k.a. befriend response). Although men and women both secrete oxytocin, a key factor in women’s response to stress, their responses would still be different.

Women has a hormone called the estrogen. It works better with oxytocin, than for men with the hormone testosterone, which reduce oxytocin’s effect. People with higher levels of oxytocin are calmer, more relaxed, more social, and less anxious. Therefore, women cope  more easily with stressful situations because they tend to release stress simply by talking to a friend.

Men and Stress

Hormones play a crucial part in the effects of stress in men and women. Due to lower oxytocin levels, men typically follows the “fight-or-flight” response where they tend to become more argumentative, respond more critically, become less comforting and supportive to others, ignore, and engage in activities by themselves.

However, there are ways to change a man’s reaction to it. A simple touch can make a huge difference. Touch a stressed man and it will activate a nerve in the brain that triggers the release of oxytocin. Another thing that you can do is to increase his testosterone level. You can do it by talking about his successes and achievements. Moreover, have time to accompany him in physical activities, or simply intimate activities.

Stress is not just a matter of short-term feeling; it could lead to more serious illnesses that can be associated to the mind and to the body. It is important to fight it to avoid worsen conditions. Stress in the workplace is normal. Low salary,horrible bosses or unlimited tasks may be its cause. But at the end of the day, the results would still be the same – bad things. If you feel that you feel more and more stress, talk to people that understands, talk to those who know.


Image by caio_triana / CC BY 2.0