Men and women respond to stress very differently. As in childbirth, women’s bodies release a chemical, oxytocin (ahk-see-toe-sin). This chemical has a calming effect and is also found at higher levels in breastfeeding mothers. Estrogen, the predominant female hormone, boosts the effects of oxytocin.

Testosterone, on the other hand, is predominant in men during stress. Testosterone blocks the effects of oxytocin and produces aggression, hostility, withdrawal, and anger.

It can be seen that evolution has balanced the stress reactions between men and women. Women tend to protect loved ones during times of stress through an exaggerated calmness while men attack to protect their loved ones.

For women, similar to other diseases that are more symptomatic and apparent in men (like heart disease), stress is a silent destructive force whose symptoms may go unnoticed. The "calm" reaction to stress is more easily borne. The symptoms do not show until much later in the destructive process of stress.

Stress damages your body as a result of a combination of biological reactions. Increased adrenaline causes your heart to beat faster and harder. At the expense of other organs and tissues, blood is shunted away to be used by muscles for "fight or flight."

Prolonged stress can result in anxiety and depression. Cardiovascular disease, immune system diseases and even cancer have been connected to high levels of stress.

Mindfullness, A Method for Easy Meditation.

Both men and women can benefit from the use of meditation to combat stress. Meditation is a mind-body exercise that produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.

For many, meditation is difficult. Either people tend to fall asleep or cannot clear the mind of thoughts. The process of meditation focuses on the release of thoughts and leaving the mind open to the inner creative source. Practice is necessary for success.

Rather than inward clarity, mindfulness teaches the quiet observation of our surroundings. Mindfulness exercises are designed to focus our minds on what is immediately before us. By using our 5 senses, hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste, we learn to more fully digest the present moment.

When we learn to observe and focus on the moment through mindfulness exercises, we are able to slow our reactive mind and consciously choose our response. Routine practice is important to integrating mindfullness as a stress reducer in our daily lives.

Commit to a time each day when you set aside whatever you are doing to relax and practice mindfullness. For thousands of years, Asians and ultimately the English used tea as a mindfulness practice. Tea flower tea has an added benefit.

Using Tea Flowers as a Mindfulness Exercise

Called tea flowers, small balls of green or white tea leaves sewn by hand around flowers bloom when dropped into hot water. There are many varieties of flowering tea, each of which has a distinct and beautiful effect when brewed. The aroma of the flowers is therapeutic, and both the tea and the flowers together product an antioxidant rich tea.

Blooming tea is a lovely method to center the mind during mindfulness exercises. Each of our senses are brought into play:
1. Seeing the flower unfold in the glass teapot.
2. Smelling the aroma of the tea and flowers.
3. Hearing the water as it pours into your cup.
4. Feeling the heat of the cup in your hands and the warm flow of the tea in your mouth and throat.
5. Tasting the delicate flavor of tea and flowers.

Extend this awareness into your surroundings. Practice this awareness at all times, especially when you start feeling stressed. Stop to become aware of what is happening and pay attention to each of your senses.

Each day, set a special place where you can relax and practice mindful tea. Let your imagination be your guide. You may even want to utilize Feng Shui in designing the perfect environment for practice. Use color, music, texture and aromas to maximize the experience.

Learn this and more at Find the free report on the magical qualities of tea flowers, and join the Tea Flower Moment of the Month Club to solidify your daily commitment to long term health.

Author's Bio: 

A single parent who has raised three children on her own, Robin Eschler has been a marketing professional working as an employee and independent contractor. She has also been a life-long student of healing, personal growth and spirituality.

Having successfully launched products internationally and established market presence for corporations and small businesses, and having worked in nonprofit for close to 12 years, her goal has been to establish prosperity, in all contexts, not only for herself but for others. She has worked with various disadvantaged populations to improve their lives and opportunities. Her current goal is to help people of all backgrounds experience a better life and future.