A study by Nielsen recently revealed that Indian women were the most stressed in the world. It stated that an overwhelming 87 percent of Indian women felt stressed most of the time, and 82 percent reported that they had no time to relax.
So when this news came out, popular author Chetan Bhagat penned a heart-warming piece for a local daily for all Indian women. It is one that you must read if you are also struggling to juggle between multiple roles at home and work.
This is what he wrote:
“Alright, this is not cool at all. A recent survey by Nielsen has revealed that Indian women are the most stressed out in the world: 87% of our women feel stressed out most of the time. This statistic alone has caused me to stress out. Even in workaholic America, only 53% women feel stressed.
What are we doing to our women? I’m biased, but Indian women are the most beautiful in the world. As mothers, sisters, daughters, colleagues, wives and girlfriends – we love them. Can you imagine life without the ladies?
For now, I want to give Indian women five suggestions to reduce their stress levels.
One, don’t ever think you are without power. If your mother in law doesn’t like you. Leave her views for her. Be who you are, not someone she wished you would be. She doesn’t like you? That’s her problem.
Two, if you are doing a good job at work and your boss doesn’t value you -tell him that, or quit. Talented, hard-working people are much in demand.
Three, educate yourself, learn skills, network – figure out ways to be economically independent. So next time your husband tells you that you are not a good enough wife, mother or daughter-in-law, you can tell him to take a hike.
Four, do not ever feel stressed about having a dual responsibility of family and work. It is difficult, but not impossible. The trick is not to expect an A+ in every aspect of your life. You are not taking an exam, and you frankly can’t score cent per cent (unless you are in SRCC, of course). It is okay if you don’t do four dishes for lunch, one can fill their stomach with one. It is okay if you don’t work until midnight and don’t get a promotion.
Nobody remembers their job designation on their dying day.
Five, most important, don’t get competitive with other women. Someone will make a better scrapbook for her school project than you. Another will lose more weight with a better diet.
Your neighbor may make a six-dabba tiffin for her husband, you don’t – big deal.
Do your best, but don’t keep looking out for the report card, and definitely don’t expect to top the class. There is no ideal woman in this world, and if you strive to become one, there will be only one thing you will achieve for certain – stress.
So breathe, chill, relax. Tell yourself you are beautiful, do your best and deserve a peaceful life.
Anybody trying to take that away from you is making a mistake, not you. Your purpose of coming to this earth is not to please everyone. Your purpose is to offer what you have to the world, and have a good life in return. The next time this survey comes, i don’t want to see Indian women on top of the list. I want them to be the happiest women in the world.
The Nielsen Survey
The Nielsen survey titled ‘Women of the World,’ the study surveyed 6,500 women across 21 different nations. Incidentally, the report blamed the difficulty of juggling multiple roles at home and work as the main reason for their stress.
It also said that women between 25 and 55 years of age reportedly felt the most stress. Most of them were pushed by demands from relatives to conform to the paradigm of being ‘ideal daughter,’ ‘ideal wife,’ and ‘ideal daughter-in-law.’
Add to this the load of trying to balance demanding careers and roles as the perfect daughters, wives, daughter-in-laws, and mothers.
The study also stated that across generations, from daughters to mothers to grandmothers, women all around the world worry about future opportunities, even in the face of optimism. High stress is universal, but daughters (average age of 30) are most stressed. As her family is early in its formation and income levels have not yet reached full potential, there is constant pressure to fulfill daily needs.
International take on why Indian women are so stressed
“Women are critical contributors in finance, info-tech, pharmaceutical research, and other industries that are driving the growth of India Inc. Easing the stresses that prevent them from reaching their full potential at work is a smart way for companies to attract and retain key talent. Keeping women’s careers on track may not guarantee ongoing economic success but not doing so will surely limit it,” Sylvia Ann Hewlett (president of the Center for Work-Life Policy and Sylvia Ann Hewlett Associates) and Ripa Rashid (executive vice president of the Center for Work-Life Policy) wrote in the Harvard Business Review about this stress among Indian women.