I've written a number of articles here at Mother Nature Network regarding the mental and physical importance of sleep, breaks, exercise, digital detoxes, mindfulness and other ways to reduce stress. Stress is linked to too many illnesses to ignore (and I suspect, we will find more in the future), and even though Western societies have more money and resources than ever before, people are generally less happy and work more than they used to. But it doesn't have to be that way — there are more resources than ever before on how to deal with it in a healthy way.
After falling over at her office — passing out and hitting her head — Arianna Huffington started tackling the issue of overwork and constant stress (especially for women) on a part of her site called The Third Metric, which covers all these topics and more (including how important a digital detox is for getting there).
"How can we support each other, as women, to actually create breathing spaces in our lives. To end this addiction. To take care of ourselves at the same time as we fulfill our obligations. That was what really led to the Third Metric," says Huffington, on the "Morning Joe" show (video below). The discussion between Huffington, Glamour magazine editor Cindy Leive, and Mika Brzezinski of "Morning Joe" indicated that there are many women dealing with the issue of over-stress, even those who make the most money and have the most privileged jobs (like the previously mentioned three women). If they're having trouble dealing with stress, that means that women from throughout the spectrum are dealing with this very real issue. Taking care of yourself, says Huffington, "Is not just a luxury, it's a necessity. It's for every woman."
"We have statistics now that women in stressful jobs have a 40 percent greater risk of heart disease and a 60 percent greater risk of diabetes because women internalize stress differently," says Huffington. If that sounds like a fate you'd like to avoid, 2014 is the year to take action.
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