What is stress?
Stress in the most simple term is a pressure exerted forcibly on a body/object to produce a defirmation . It is a compulsion, an influence. In other words, stress is that which brings about a reaction on the normal body flow. By default, our body has a response mechanism of fight or flight designed to protect us from harm and get us ready to take to challenges.
During a stressful period, the body produces and releases chemicals (hormones- adrenaline) which trigger the alertness and readiness to respond. Excessive influx of these chemicals carry with it consequences that will affect the ability of the body to function effectively. It is this breakdown of functionality that makes excessive stress to be a poison to a well being.
Causes and effects of stress on the black woman.
There are different circumstances and situations that can cause excessive stress for the woman. It is usually those things that could result to or make you to be; frustrated, angry, unhappy, tensed, or make you feel worthless.
Black women for centuries have been subjected to so much stressful conditions that leave them appearing less worthy compared to women from other races. Due to our cultural believes, poverty, racism, family situations plus several other situations that we have come to live with.
Cultural believes: Culturally, there are so much expectations heaved on the shoulders of the woman. From caring for the family- children, husband, parents, parents in law and other members of the family. Often with so much to do, the woman have less and less time to think and care for herself. Unfortunately, women have left these to continue for ages, handing down so believes further to their sons and daughters. Thereby continually creating the environment where it is okay for a man to use and abuse the woman without remorse.
Poverty/Neglect: Often, when poverty hits the family, it is the woman who bears the brunt of it all. Given the believe system that we have just discussed, the woman’s needs of course is never a priority, leaving her neglected and unkempt. She develops an attitude of a super woman., caring for everyone and neglecting the goose that lay the golden eyes. In effect, we see a sudden crash in her health resulting in chronic arthritis, hypertension, depression and even death.
Racism/discrimination: This has remained the most challenging source of stress for the black globally. Discrimination and let down which black women receive directly and indirectly from employers, carers, the media and the society in general has kept the black woman defensive, angry and frustrated leaving them with attitudes and lifestyles that are unhelpful both to their health and self development.
Family: Child bearing adds stress to the lives of every woman not just the black woman. But with support and help from the family the woman copes better. With situations such as those discussed above, it is extremely challenging and stressful for the black woman to cope.
Other sources of stress: So many other sources include; job stress, sudden death, illness, bad relationships, domestic violence, just to name a few.