How to manage stressors more effectively--by design

Stressed? Know someone who is? Want to do something about it? Want to know how differently the brains of males and females react to stress? Then this is for you! Stress starts and ends in the brain, so a better understanding of the phenomenon and the development of effective stress management strategies need to begin there, too. Make no mistake, stress is impacted (positively or negatively) by your past experience, expectations, and perceptions. And by gender, as well. Who knew? Studies have shown that the female brain responds to stressors very differently from the way in which the male brain responds. (Many females have been told in the midst of a stressful event something like: "It's not that bad. Just get over it!") Stress management is critically important for all human beings but perhaps especially so since females have at least twice the risk for developing stress-related illnesses.


This seminar is designed to present current information on how differently brains respond to stressors based on gender, along with the high cost of ineffective stress management strategies. It describes three general categories of stressors, the three brain responses, and consequences that can result from chronic triggering of the stress response, including:

  • Flight/Fight—ulcers, high blood pressure
  • Tend/Befriend—trying too hard, tolerating the intolerable
  • Conserve/Withdraw—depression, immobility

What has come to be referred to as stress is described in three general categories, including examples of each: Distress, Eustress, and Misstress. It’s actually your brain rather than your stomach that recognizes a stressor first and it can continue triggering the stress response for 72 hours (if you continue to rehearse it). The cost to you is impacted by your own brain’s unique perception of each stressor in combination with expectations and experience. Current research has revealed information that can help you identify and manage your stressors more effectively. Strategies for managing stressors are provided including the technique of reframing along with Dr. Herbert Benson's Relaxation Response® and application of the 20:80 Rule to stressful situations.


This seminar can be presented in one 50-minute segment.


People who are interested in learning about gender brain differences in response to a stressors and how to identify and manage stress more effectively.


Upon completion of the seminar, participants should be able to:

  • Explain gender brain differences in response to stressors
  • Define distress, eustress, and mistress and list two examples of each
  • Explain the technique of reframing
  • Briefly describe Dr. Herbert Benson's Relaxation Response®
  • State the 20:80 Rule and its application to a stressful situation
Arlene TaylorPresented by Arlene R. Taylor PhD
Brain Function Specialist, Realizations Inc