by John Gray, Ph.D., best-selling author of Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improving Relationships by Understanding How Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress
The more stress a woman feels, the more overwhelmed she becomes. There are too many things for her to do before she can relax. Trying to do the impossible leads her to exhaustion.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. The more exhausted she feels, the more urgent it becomes for her to get everything done. Stress leads to being overwhelmed, being overwhelmed leads to exhaustion, exhaustion leads to urgency, and finally, urgency leads to more stress. In this way, a negative cycle is created.
When a woman undertakes activities that create oxytocin, her stress levels drop, her sense of being overwhelmed disappears, and her energy returns. When women have plenty of energy, they take great pleasure from their responsibilities. She still has never-ending to-do list, but it is no longer as daunting. With her stress levels lowered and her energy restored, a woman is happy and proud to do it all.
Women become exhausted not because their muscles are breaking down but because they are not making enough oxytocin. As their stress levels rise and their bodies produce more cortisol, their bodies are unable to burn fat for energy, but process carbohydrates and sugar.
In their red-alert state, they are left with cravings for carbohydrates, caffeine, or sugar for short-term energy, which then very quickly leaves them even more exhausted. The solution for women is not taking more time to rest, but finding oxytocin-stimulating activities to lower stress levels.