July 22, 2010
Does Gender Matter in Work Related Stress?
26% women report unreasonable amounts of stress at work compared to 22% men according to this Kenexa Study "Mothers, Sisters and Daughters Alike": Women Suffer Work Stress in Different Ways Than Men. It is an interesting study because it highlights the differences and overlaps in sources of stress for men and women. The genders agree on issues related to ethics, quality of products.
Women are more concerned over non-discrimination and subsequently, fair treatment during evaluations. Being excited about work is uniquely significant for women, while freedom to try out new things unique factor for men.
Population surveyed: USA: 10,000 workers and 1,000 workers from each of these countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and 500 workers in Russia.
July 19, 2010
If Mark Twain wanted to beat some stress today...
Online video is the new idiot box. Without the respite of commercial breaks and self-driven content consumption, it was a surprising revelation to find that the video type that trumped all others in the United States was comedy (Pew Daily Number). The humor genre was watched more than news and education type videos according to a Pew study.
In a stressful world, we know that nothing beats a good laugh to relieve the tension and lighten the situation. Tension that accumulates in our mind is relieved with a good laugh, and you don't need a degree in rocket biochemistry for knowing that.
When we live in information overloaded realms of online news, email and other little notifications that constantly distract us, resorting to passive consumption of comedy videos suggests several things: People want to learn and be smarter, but need a healthy fix of humor to wash down the bitter pill of life.
The animated movie Monsters Inc. had a great lesson about the power of humor over fear to make people be more energetic. Perhaps this lesson can be transferred to our daily lives. Looking for humor in situations, looking for the lighter vein in grave setups that life might present us with.
“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” - Mark Twain
Humor within boundaries. Best when its self-deprecating because self-pointed jokes will remove the need to be overly cautious. Just be careful not to leave traces of sarcasm and hidden messages to others while deriding your own self.
June 02, 2010
Stress Through Courtship Competition Shortens Male Lives
A study being published in Evolutionary Psychology, coming out of our campus hints towards the stress of courtship & competition for female attention as a life shortening stress factor.
Just yesterday, while chatting with my barber, the topic of relationships while being in school came up. She is an American of Irish descent. Her son, 27, is avoiding the dating scene to stay focused on his studies. In my books, that is a remarkable display of wisdom. Many societies discourage scouting for life partners too early on, not just on the grounds of religious morality, but simple wisdom of keeping the head clear. The person can focus on the important tasks at the time, i.e. getting a quality education.
Realizing that finding a life-partner independently is not just a regular stress, but a life shortening stress is critical in understanding the age old customs of arranged marriages can be labeled backward and Victorian, but are a part of a health promoting lifestyle going back centuries in the east.
However, the custom of arranged marriages has degraded in the east. It has become a corrupt instrument of gaining wealth, building political or business relationship between families. So money-based arranged marriages are the other end of the stress spectrum, far from the original goal of retaining a healthy atmosphere for the young to educate and establish themselves without worrying about finding a soulmate themselves.
A report on the UM study is published here on publicbroadcasting.net, the home of NPR Michigan.
April 20, 2010
Will Road Stress Levels Come Down with a Texting Ban?
A few weeks ago a study came out of Utah proving that only 2.5% of the study population could manage to multitask. (NYTimes) Michigan senate/house passed a bill and sent it to the Governor's desk for final sign off. (PRNews)
Stress from multitasking is significant for me. When I am not multitasking I feel I am wasting time, but it is really the most relaxing way to work. The only way I can really single task and be happy is listening to music while working. Plus adding a second monitor to my computer has made it even more difficult to get away from multitasking. The gift of stress free working for me would be to live a single-tasking life and be happy with it.