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The pressure for women to live on the terms dictated by Our society is leading them to Stress & Anxiety

18 Nov 2015

Society has been giving directives to women regarding physical appearance to behavioral essentials since forever. And the progressive society is no exception either. Women are being told about everything which they need to do and even how they need to look like.

 

The following story will give you a complete sense of the scenario.

“I belong to a wonderful family, have lots of friends, have had a few relationships too, I am a successful executive working in a publishing house and totally enjoy my life. I am also 31 years old, dark skinned and plump and really like to cut my hairs to a pixie cut because I think they look really cute for my dense curly jet black hairs. Now the first thing that probably came to your mind is why am I not married yet? Is it because I am dark and plump? Or is it because I have been focusing on my career too much to start a family which I should be my ultimate destiny?

I would say the answer is yes and no. Yes, my parents have been trying to get me married since I was 26 and not to mention that I have been rejected countless times. Some of them even had a problem with my short hairs, some wanted me to quit the job that I love to make children and take care of everyone while some had a problem because I like to read and not cook. They would often ask, “How will you take care of your family if you work for such long hours?” and my answer would be, “Just like your son will manage.” And that would be the last time me or my family would hear from them. I had spent months getting depressed. I had totally lost hope that I would ever get married, make my parents happy and be happy like my sister who has 2 beautiful daughters and is married to a wonderful man who fell in love with her instantly. But then she is also fair. Ouch! I started doubting my own self, my face and my body and even my job! “Is my job worth all this or should I really start cooking”, I would ask myself. And the family functions and public gatherings became a menace where Aunties would poke me and ask, “when are you getting married? By age your I already had 2 children!”

Then I thought, having a husband and children and taking care of the in laws who think I am ugly and fat is not worth anything anyway. I realized that the society is a dictator making its own rules for itself. I am different and that doesn’t make me wrong. The society or the models from those advertisements shouldn’t decide what I should be and what I should look like. I am a strong and independent woman, have a good sense of humour and people who know me love me very much. That was the day I stopped being depressed and put on my old pair of baggy jeans which was shoved to the corner to make room for my ‘lady clothes’. The society can reject me for not having great looks, a marriage and so on but it can’t reject my spirit.” ---- Anonymous

The above story may end with a happy ending but that is not the case with every woman. You may think those fairness cream ads are ridiculous which shows a woman getting a job after becoming fair but they still make sense. The society still decides how a woman’s face and body should be, the age of getting married and the age the woman should become a mother, the food she should eat, the behavior she should display, the job she should have and even what she should do in her spare time. The kind of a wife and daughter in law she should be, she should get up early, she shouldn’t argue are some example of the demands from the society. This creates immense amount of stress and anxiety on the part of the woman.

Some common psychological issues faced because of these dictates are:

·Chronic sadness and anxiety

·Depression

·Low self esteem and self worth

·Low self confidence

·Social withdrawal and isolation

·Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa or anorexia

·Relationship problems

·Work performance deterioration

·Substance abuse

Womanhood can be enjoyed in a lot of ways, it doesn’t always have to be the conventional ways.

If you are being frowned upon for deviating from the societal norms and this is causing a lot of stress and anxiety

Following tips may help you out

1. Know your strengths and weakness:  No individual is perfect. If there are certain flaws about you, acknowledge your strengths too. Positivity and optimism is the key to be happy here. When the society is pointing out your shortcomings, you can always show your strengths then.

2. Acceptance: If your physical looks or other societal parameters do not comply with the way the society has decided, it is not your fault. The empowerment starts from you and for that you must accept that this is the way you’re made.

3. Say no to peer pressure: When bugged by societal norms, you can always be assertive and tell how you are different and happy. Peers and family are the most common source of stress. Combating their thoughts and remarks will help you get along with your ‘differentness’.

4. Feel good about yourself: The world may say a certain hairstyle or a certain outfit doesn’t agree with you but if you feel confident and good about it just go with it. After all, it is all about your well being.

5. Be more around the people who understand you: Although you can’t avoid the family functions where your deviance from the societal norms might be questioned, stick around people who are more laid back and who make you feel less conscious and respect you for who you are.

6. Be independent: Independence especially about your finances and lifestyle is important. This will boost your sense of self content and confidence. Dependence sometimes can be an added source of stress which may push you towards more adherences to social norms, further aggravating the situation.

7. Take initiative and explore new areas: Just because the society says it is not right, it doesn’t mean it is wrong. As long as it is harmless to anyone or anything and it is interests you, go and explore it. You may find your happiness there, away from societal bonds.

8. Have a healthy lifestyle: Eat well, sleep well and exercise well. A healthy body will automatically generate a healthy self image and it will further boost your self esteem and confidence. Unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol and smoking will only worsen your stress levels.

8. Seek professional help: ‘Being different’ in the eyes of society can be overwhelming for anyone. Every human being strives for social acceptance and approval. If you feel you are struggling too much and are not able to cope up, you can always seek professional help. Counselling psychologists and clinical psychologists help an individual to de-stress, to cope healthily, make the right decisions and ultimately achieve mental health.

If as a woman you are struggling to achieve equality and live life on your terms and this has been causing you tremendous mental agony and pain, you can get complete help Online from ePsyClinic’s wellness Psychologists and Experts. ePsyClinic.com’s experts have helped over 5000 women and 1000 couples achieve mental & emotional wellness.

 

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About ePsyClinic: We are an Indian health company that is now Asia's largest Online Clinic for Mental, emotional, professional and pregnancy wellness. We have India's top psychiatrists, gynecologists on our panel along with most professionally trained psychologists. Our experts’ receive special training for an effective online management and treatment of various mental health, emotional health, pregnancy health and addiction issues.

 

 


Tags: #woman #society