Why Are Female Executives Prone to Stress Disorders?

Anne Devereux-MillsAnne Devereux-Mills, Chief Strategy Officer of Lantern (and previously Stanford’s Executive Director of Healthy Body Image Programs) spent 25 years observing women in a corporate environment.  What she noticed was that the very internal monologue that drives successful women to the top of their fields also makes them susceptible to stress- and anxiety-related disorders.

In fact, according to a new study by Lantern, women are 11% more stressed and 16% more anxious than their male counterparts, resulting from these key drivers:

A. The desire to be “perfect” and fear of “falling short”
B. The strong will required to stand up for their ideas that can also lead to an unforgiving view of themselves
C. The belief that if they are not constantly marking off tasks they will fall behind

To combat these stress drivers, Anne suggests three important stress-relief tactics designed with high-achieving women in mind:

>> 1. Box It Up
To manage conflicting responsibilities, visualize “boxes” where you can put each obligation when you’re not actively engaged with it. Avoid thinking about something while it is in a mental box.

>> 2. Set Values and Stick to Them
Decide what’s important to you and prioritize your time. Draw firm lines about how much time you spend in each area of your life and don’t start bending them to “benefit your career.”

>> 3. Create “You” Rituals
Experiment with “meditative” activities (like working out or taking a bath) and turn the best ones for you into daily rituals. Give your brain a chance to quiet down as you begin and end a busy day.

These practices are the foundation of the approach Anne and her team utilize at Lantern, where users perform daily healing exercises as part of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy method – a type of therapy that examines self-destructive thinking patterns.

For more information, please visit Lantern’s web page.

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