Stress busting – Mars and Venus style

The ways men and women deal with tension and stressful situations are so different that they could well be from….well… Mars and Venus. It is so interesting to see the contrast between the two. And if this post focuses on women’s coping techniques, it is intended to. You will know when you read  the post. I might have left out some of the ways women cope. So feel free to add/delete. As for men, I have summed them all up in an entire para. What more do you ask from me, eh?

(And oh, before I forget, this is a re-post.)

When stressed, the male of the species would typically have a smoke or two; watch an action movie;  go on a night out with the ‘boys’ ; switch the TV on to some sports channel and get into the act of passively  ‘hitting’, kicking’, ‘pummelling’ and the like; others who are inclined towards real sports might do these very things physically; the loner types and even others might start fiddling with their smartphones and apps.

How utterly boring!

Now just look at women! You must agree that they are definitely better equipped to cope with stress than their male counterparts, exceptions apart. And the methods they use are so varied, ingenious, interesting, and definitely less harmful to themselves and the others around them!  In fact, if you look at them, most of the methods are very positive and gainful ones.

1.  Clear clutter: This is a very effective method of dealing with tension and a blue mood. I know because this is my favourite way. The flip side is that you may never complete the job because you just discovered the hair-band you had got as a gift from your favourite aunt when you were 10, and you discovered the oh-so-sweet photos of your kids when they were adorably cute (or yourself if you are not as old as me!) and so you had to go through the entire lot and get nostalgic about the events connected to the photos. You might also find sundry other items you had considered lost – all enough distract you from your main purpose of pulling out everything in the first place. Eventually everything goes right back in!  So what? Your mood is restored and you get up with a spring in your step ready to take on the world. Never fails! Try it sometime if you have not already done it.

women-friends-talking-on-phone

2. Pick up that phone: While the man might pick up the remote to drown himself in noise, a woman most likely would pick up the phone – to unload her mind to one of girl/woman friends, sister or mother. she does this with the full confidence that it would not be shared with others. Also she doesn’t want the listener to jump in with her tuppence worth of comments against the object of her rant. She just wants someone to validate her feelings at the moment, for she reserves the right to go back to eulogising the same person a few hours or days later. She certainly wouldn’t want to know that the person with whom she had talked to earlier doesn’t think the same way! Here I must make a distinction between real connection and virtual connection over social media. Talking to the world at large about your stresses might not reduce, but actually increase them sometimes. The communication is therefore necessarily between real time friends and relatives.

Since every woman knows this, each makes such consoling noises like, ‘tsk, tsk’, ‘you don’t tell me!’ (in a shocked tone), ‘good for you!’ and such. By the end of the conversation which might have lasted anywhere from half-an-hour to the time the battery went dead, she is feeling fine and ready to tackle the lump sitting on the sofa watching some inane channel; or she might feel so good about things enough to ‘forgive’ his lapse and actually give him a hug! The poor sod has no idea as to what happened to the screaming banshee of a few minutes ago. But being male, he would pull her closer, relieved that it was over…at least for the time being.

3. Shop: There is something so invigorating about all those brand new, colourful or mouth-watering things arranged in the window displays that she might feel good just gazing at them if she can’t actually afford to buy them! She might either go alone or take one of her friends/sister/mother with her to ‘ooh’ and ‘aahh’ with her. Of course if she is sufficiently disturbed, she might end up buying something completely useless or superfluous – like a huge ceramic bowl in the Feng-shui shop to float rose petals and a non-sinking candle (to bring in the positive energy into the house). Never mind that she is living in a two-and-quarter rooms apartment and can’t find place to put her pots and pans and clothes, leave alone a bowl to drive away the demons! 😀

The other problem with this solution is that money is spent and once the mood lifts and she comes back a new tension grips her – the waste of money! Well, at least it is a different one, right?

4. Begin a ‘project.’ This can be anything from trying out a new recipe to knitting a scarf or something more ambitious like writing a new programme to help her mother organise her day-to-day chores. (give me more ideas guys, I am minus zero in the tech department). The best thing about this is the starting of the ‘project’. I had once bought a huge tapestry to be filled in with cross stitches and never got to complete it. I finally gave it to a neighbour who said she would complete it for me. I don’t know the fate of my ‘project’ as she relocated to another city soon after.

5. Watch a soap: I know a lot of women who watch inane soaps and relax. They might have a dragon of a mother-in-law to contend with, an insensitive husband to deal with or a couple of hard to handle teenagers. They don’t let any of these people affect them, but calmly switch on their favourite soap and get immersed in the travails of the heroine! This one I have never understood because by the end of the soap, they would have an added worry – that of the soap character! Anyway, to each her own, I guess.

6. Eat comfort foods: This one is the best of the lot: put your leg up, open a large bar of chocolate and go munch-munch while watching a good movie or programme on the telly! It never fails to work, believe me.

7. Compare notes: This is either done discreetly or openly depending upon whom you are doing it with. I have read somewhere that gossip is therapeutic and it is actually harmless unless someone is viciously targeted. It helps them get to know of worse off women and find themselves blessed to be in a better position than them. The comparison angle also works for those who watch the soaps and empathise with the characters as if they were real.

So what are your tricks to cope with tensions? If you are a man and use other means than the ones listed at the outset, I would love to hear them and women of course would have so many more colourful ways that I might have missed out. I am looking forward to reading about them all 🙂

Images courtesy: Homepage- www.alexbrounger.co.uk This page: siliconangle.com 

51 comments

  1. swati2105 · · Reply

    Haha. I think I always cleaning up the house when stressed. It’s almost as if someone has possessed me (a cleanliness-freak ghost, perhaps) and usually those around me prefer to keep out of my way while I am at it.

    Total stress buster and also – I feel putting things in order and wiping off the dust has a replicating effect on the mind. The mind feels de-cluttered too can potentially see things differently.

    Always works for me!

    Eating and giving a friend the low-down on the situation have also been helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree with the mentioned points. Men seem to handle it in a different way than Women. We would just need to create a diversion for the mind so that we dont keep thinking about it. Some people prefer talking about it and getting over it, while some people prefer not talking about it for some time and get back to the problem with a fresh frame of mind.

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    1. Right! But as in many other traits, there are cross-over ones in handling stress too as is evident from the comments.

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  3. The other thing one can do is…go to sleep!
    Such an informative post, Zephyr!

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    1. Thanks for your input, Ricky. I guess that this is one of the techniques adopted by the males of the species too, for if my response to stress is anything to go by as a representative of my sex, I’d be unable to sleep a wink and so rather do something to work it off 🙂

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  4. jaishvats · · Reply

    I see m to have done It all – eat chocolate, declutter , shop but soaps no ! The music depresses me 🙂 i sometimes go for long walks or visit the beauty parlor and get that long pending threading done . Additionally i would get my hair cut. Better than pulling it out with my bare hands ha ha . Also writing a diary helps sometimes. Also engaging in some fun activity with my son

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    1. The methods are what we women take recourse to. We might do some of them, not necessarily all of them 🙂 No soaps or even TV for me. If there is a good children’s movie, I’d take it any day. I have heard about women feeling recharged after a new haircut, but also have heard of stories where it has given them fresh stress because they turned out so bad 😀

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  5. That was an interesting angle on this threadbare topic–mostly threadbared by me.
    Ah, men’s methods are truly from mars.
    And we have a huge variety to choose from me.Decluttering works for me and btw i too have a huge half embroidered tapestry going back to 30 years.

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    1. Yours are professional methods Indu! This was meant more as a fun post with some truth to it. Because painting men and women in black and white is what we tend to do — assigning characteristics based on natural tendencies. I wanted to highlight the mistake of doing that too.

      Tapestry of 30 years? You beat me hollow! Truth be told, I am least inclined towards handicrafts and stuff. Why, I don’t even know how to make paper boats (have never known) as I had confessed on Rachna’s blog 😀

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  6. Women believe in sharing is caring, If they are stressed, they make sure that their friends get equally stressed with their continuous ranting.

    Thankfully, I just believe in torturing the husband. I call it ‘the unloading’. Once he’s ready to perish with exhaustion, I feel at peace with myself.

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    1. Aren’t you too cruel to your poor hubby? You are so lucky that he listens to the point of exhaustion without offering solutions to them. The L&M would jump in with one for every sentence, making him my lastest choice to unload 😀 Asfor making the friends miserable, most of the times, we tend to move away from the problem and begin yakking away about other things, don’t you think?

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  7. Ha ha! It’s good that we women have so many ways to bust stress, isn’t it? Just proves that women are more innovative and versatile than men! 🙂

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    1. You bet! And don’t forget that the methods are productive and positive too.

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  8. Your pen is right there- on the pulse.
    Binge eating and writing works for me. The husband prefers to take a walk or watch an action movie.
    This was a lovely post Zephyr.

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    1. Ah, finally someone agreeing with me on my sweeping generalisation of men’s methods of working off stress 🙂 Thank you Alka!

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  9. Food is comforting…eating it as also making it ! Baking ups my ego & I feel super ! This post is simply WOW !

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    1. I checked out your food blog and found it yummilicious! I hadn’t added that in the list. I leave it to my commenters to fill in the blanks I have left in the post. Welcome again, Vasudha 🙂

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  10. This was such a fun post :). I hate cleaning so I wouldn’t do that more so when I am stressed. But picking up the phone and ranting, or ranting on the blog or ranting to a bunch of pals works the best :). And chocolate, with or without stress, it works for me. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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    1. You are missing the most wonderful stress-buster of all — cleaning clutter! Do you know the kinds of treasures you might come across? the stuff you had given up for lost? Perhaps your cupboards and wardrobes are not such a mess as mine, because it takes hours for me to get through it all and by that time I am ready to take on the world and more 😀

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  11. That’s a post which has relevance for everybody considering the way stress is eating us up everyday bit by bit 🙂 I do talk to my friends, but sometimes, the stress is undefined.Its not such a big deal to talk about it to somebody but its still a bother. I make lists of all stuff that’s depressing around me, at times..I study a worm , I read and I exercise. Nothing like some sweat to get rid of the dementors. And yes, I clean :)..with a vengeance.

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    1. I know what you mean about undefined stress. That feeling of something bothering you and not going away. I don’t exercise, but taking a walk works for me. Also cleaning. It is the most therapeutic thing ever — with the bonus of a clean cupboard/shelf/drawer at the end of it all. But the best thing is to discover that forgotten photo album or a bunch of letters 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Menfolks have one more item to destress- 2-4 pegs of Whisky or Rum!!
    Men and women, Whatever they do to destress themselves is fine as long as they feel better at the end of it. (Caution:Does not apply to tipplers).

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    1. So long as they are able to destress, any method save downing those pegs are fine, right? Good that you put in that disclaimer for tipplers, SRA 😀

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  13. Ah! I love the Ostrich – I bury my head in sand (in a book, if you want to be literal about it) and hope that the stress-creating issue will just go away 🙂

    By the way, did it even cross your mind that men do not choose the option of talking it out PRECISELY because other men would, instead of going “Tsk! Tsk!”, go on to tell you all the things that YOU did wrong which caused the problem? Or would try to argue about why YOU are wrong in feeling angry and that it is the other person, if anything, who had a right to be pissed? Or give you twenty alternative solutions for the way forth? When you ONLY wanted to let off some steam, they sit on the lid and refuse any outlet. Stress-buster? Bah! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But sometimes it does go away, doesn’t it? I mean, often we just stew in our own juices worrying silly over something trivial or something we can’t do anything about. The reason why I gave that point of women picking up the phone is to emphasise without saying as much that men are largely incapable of providing the kind of silent validation of your tension 🙂 Don’t I know? The L&M will start ticking off solutions on his his fingers the moment I closed my mouth about something Grrrrrrr Just leave it to a woman to soothe and make you feel all right and validated 🙂

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  14. It is always nice reading your posts. Finally i found the perfect post to explain to my husband what i go through 😀

    – Archana

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    1. That’s great, Archana! Good to see you here 🙂 Menfolk need to understand why we HAVE to shop, or pig on ice-creams and chocolates, don’t they? 😀

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  15. When under stress/tension, I do one or more of the following:
    re-re-re-re-read some of my favourite P. G. Wodehouse stories, do a Crossword and/or a Sudoku, watch any comedy film/serial/programme (the sillier the better), play ‘Hearts’ on the computer, read children’s books/stories (Billy Bunter, William, Nasruddin Hodja, etc.), chat with a small kid (this is really effective, especially if the kid is ‘naughty’!), telephone one of my close friends and discuss the matter with him or tell him why I’m tense and then talk about everything else but that matter. How’s that for a man?

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    1. Impressed! Highly impressed! BTW, the post was written with tongue-firmly-in-cheek than it actually appears 🙂 The allusion to Mars and Venus was also intended to bring out the fallacy of generalisation of the respective characteristics, though one has to accept that there definitely is a pattern to them. Coming to your stress busters, I agree wholeheartedly with the spending time with naughty kids and reading children’s books. I have weathered many a tense situation by shutting out everything to spend all my time and energies with my kids. It is a never-failing pick-me-up. As for talking to a friend about the situation and moving on, THAT is a typical Martian characteristic 🙂

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  16. Music and Walking. Not together, separately.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Liked the part about doing them separately 🙂 Walking is indeed therapeutic.

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  17. I take a spa..and then sleep..
    If that is not helping..then Mummyyyyyyy

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    1. LOL

      Welcome here bhavia! Many women just go the Mummy way right in the beginning, especially if they don’t have the time or energy for a spa or sleep! Any mummy figure is fine, actually.

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  18. I crib and start writing ’bout it.. Makes me feel much better 🙂

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    1. Writing about it is the best way to let off steam. but it is better to have it in password protected MSword files or else….!

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  19. Well, I’ll commit a murder or two; maybe haunt a house; visit another planet; blow up the entire world …
    Writing stories can be great therapy 😉

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    1. That was just like your microfiction! 😀 Just as I was about to say, ‘Didn’t I say so at the outset?’ you come out with the twist in the tale! Yes, indeed, writing is a great way to let out steam.

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  20. Ice cream really is a winning solution. Also sketching! Nothing like a sketch full of randomly angry strokes to make me feel calmer. My latest though, is typing freely (verrrry freely) on a password encrypted Word doc; my eco friendly substitute for the old ‘vent and tear’ method 🙂
    I enjoy your blog so very much! Looking forward to the next post. 🙂

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    1. Hey Sheetal, welcome here, officially I mean! 😀 I am glad you like my blog.

      I had completely forgotten the writing thing. I use it quite often too. Thanks for adding it and your other solutions to the list. I agree about the superiority of writing on the computer to doing it on the conventional diary. Only don’t delete it immediately but have a second read later. It often makes one realise how much one had over-reacted to some situation!

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  21. Your post reminded me of Elayne Boosler’s quote,” When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country”
    Seriously I am not sure about the gals but guys exactly do what you did mention in the beginning,we are simple creatures just give us our remote and we can cope with anything 😉

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    1. Glad you agree, WJ, about men’s coping techniques, I mean. I am a sort of authority, having three of them at home! 😀 Women cope exactly in the ways I have mentioned and some more from the comments here!

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  22. I sleep. Yell (at no one of course, I’m quite a coward that way. Heh:D). Get hugged. Spill out my woes…or BUY stuff 😀

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    1. Aren’t you lucky to be able to sleep when you are tense? I stay wide wide awake and keep brooding and fretting. That’s why the clutter-clearing helps! You can take your mind off and usually into happier and peaceful times. 🙂

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  23. Interesting article… I have my own ways of handling it. Well, mine is very simple though, just switch to my favorite Classical music including techno and vocal numbers by Balamurali Krishna, Kadri, subbalakshmi, etc., Good read for sure!

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    1. Welcome here Mohan. Thanks for the comment. Ah yes, music! i had forgotten that. It helps if you sing along! 🙂

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  24. I like scrubbing the loo, the refrigerator and other things which need scrubbing 🙂
    I shop if I have the money…and yess comfort food always works for me 😛 No wonder I am battling weight issues..hehe I blame it on stress 😉

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    1. scrubbing? That sounds like wonderful way to work off the aggression that sometimes accompanies stress. and in the process if the house gets clean, what is the harm, eh? See I told you that the methods used by women are pretty ingenuous and useful! Aren’t you right though? stress is the cause of overweight. 😀

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  25. Go for a walk….
    No.2 and to some extent no.1 work pretty well for me too…..

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    1. I love going for long walks. sometimes the problem finds its solution by the time you are back home.

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  26. I sleep. I have ice cream. I go to a library (it really helps me).

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    1. Reading is great,isn’t it? Sleeping is a little hard, if you are really tense, but ice cream is a never failing stress buster!

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