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Battle stress: ‘tend or befriend’

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in Workplace Communication

You've probably heard of the body’s instinctive “fight or flight” reaction to stress: Your heart rate accelerates and your brain releases endorphins, preparing the body for either combat or retreat.

But have you heard of “tend or befriend"? That’s how women are more likely to respond to stress, says University of California at Los Angeles psychology professor Shelley E. Taylor.

Generally, women have a closer circle of intimates than men. And when a round of layoffs looms or someone cuts them off during the morning commute, women tend to seek out their circle of friends or family, rather than fleeing or fighting. (That might explain why women live five years longer, on average, than men.)

Tip: When you feel stressed, indulge in the pleasure of family and friends. Suggest a women’s night out to your pals. Or call a sister or cousin you haven’t spoken to in a while.

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