Despite increased freedom and opportunities, women are experiencing higher levels of anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, and restless sleep. A recent American Psychological Association survey reveals that many US women are unhappy with societal treatment, often juggling caregiving, household responsibilities, and work while facing workplace challenges like bullying and harassment. The pandemic further exacerbated these gender disparities, but women demonstrated resilience in recovering from these setbacks.
One key contributor to women’s resilience is their strong social connections. Studies indicate that women tend to have more intimate and supportive friendships, which can help them overcome adversity more effectively. Women also place higher value on social connections than men.
While women may not always report higher happiness levels, they tend to have a greater sense of purpose in life, often engaging in altruistic endeavors like caregiving and charity volunteering. Having meaning in life is associated with better health and longevity.
To safeguard their wellbeing, women can consider four evidence-based strategies:
- Therapy: Women can benefit from individual or group-based therapy, especially art-based therapies, which offer a safe space for emotional expression.
- Connect with Nature: Spending time outdoors in natural settings can be comforting and healing, aligning with women’s nurturing tendencies.
- Physical Activity: Regular exercise, particularly aerobic activities, can boost self-acceptance, personal growth, cognitive health, and bone health in women.
- Moderate Alcohol: Reducing or eliminating alcohol can significantly improve women’s health and happiness, given their unique risks and vulnerability to anxiety.
In summary, women can enhance their happiness and wellbeing by nurturing their social connections, engaging in meaningful activities, and prioritizing self-care.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The Conversation