International Women’s Day Part 7: Five things women worry about but shouldn’t
Research shows that women are more prone to anxiety disorders and depression than men.
We worry about all kinds of things in our day-to-day lives. Indeed, worries can have positive as well as negative effects on health: positive because worrying about things like whether a doorknob or lift button is clean before you touch it can help you avoid infections. And negative because undue anxiety and stress can lead to several health problems, from sleep deprivation to high blood pressure.
Research shows that women are more prone to anxiety disorders and depression than men. In the run-up to International Women's Day on Sunday, 8 March, we look at five things women worry and feel anxious about - but shouldn’t.
1. Biological clock
Most women don’t even enter their 20s when they start getting lectured on having a plan that ensures they get married and pop a kid before 30. Usually, they are told that this is because late pregnancies have some added health risks for the mom and baby.
This can put undue pressure on women who want to take time to study, work, travel, find the right partner, among other things (not to mention the pressure on those women who decide against marrying altogether).
Happily, there are many advances in science today that can help women have a safe pregnancy in later years, too. For example, they can freeze their eggs in their prime and use them to have children when they feel ready.
2. Signs of ageing
Growing old is part of life. But thanks to the scrutiny under which most women live, we feel the need to prevent the signs of ageing. And the energy and money we spend trying to do this can be much better utilised elsewhere.
Because the thing is - there is no reversing wrinkles. Once you notice them, it's very likely that they’re here to stay. All those expensive products can only make fine lines and wrinkles less visible but they don’t disappear.
And it’s even worse when it comes to white hair - using harmful chemicals every month to cover up greys ends up making our hair a lot unhealthier. Instead of fighting a losing battle, you could wear these signs like a badge of honour and wisdom. Inner beauty and healthy skin are a lot more important than what magazines and popular cultures claim women need to look like.
3. Body hair
Most women have an extremely unhealthy relationship with body hair. From shaving to waxing and epilating to laser removal - we keep finding new ways to get rid of it for as long as possible while subjecting ourselves to pain and injury.
If hair removal is something that comes naturally to you, isn’t a bother and you’re doing it only for yourself - by all means, continue. But if making it to your monthly appointments turns into a bit of burden, financially as well as otherwise, then you might want to reconsider why exactly you’re putting yourself through this process. It’s clearly not a health choice - many men don’t seem any worse off for not choosing to get rid of body hair.
4. Period stains
Sure, periods can be a source of worry: coming early, coming late, being too heavy or too painful can all be indicators of a health condition and should not be disregarded. But why do women worry so much about period stains? Whether you use tampons or pads, a leak can happen from time to time. And it happens to all of us - we can’t sit like a statue for five days a month just to avoid it. But it’s only blood - and it’ll wash out.
5. Fitting in a box
Women are often expected to fit into a box, especially when it comes to their personalities. There's pressure on women to be kind, friendly, empathetic, happy… Any deviation from this is not received well: think about all the stereotypes around the grumpy, shouty female boss! No wonder that many women start worrying about shattering these expectations whenever they step outside of that box.
But we were all made different. And we can all have completely opposite personalities. Don’t be afraid to show the world the real you (unless the real you wants to do something illegal, in which case, seek help) - be bossy, be loud, be sporty, be blunt. Most importantly, be you.
This is the seventh article in a series on women's health and well-being.
For more information, read our article on Anxiety: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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