Self-Empowerment Tool for Women
There may be many advantages available to the lives of women in the United States compared to women’s lifestyles in many foreign nations, but in the USA there continues to be a disparity between men and women when considering quality of life and its relationship to empowerment.
From a century ago—a time that witnessed early attempts in the USA to emancipate women—to our self-congratulatory society of 2014, many women’s issues remain unresolved, even if improved.
Women today have unprecedented opportunities for employment. One of the issues resulting from this—no surprise to women professionals—is stress on the job. According to the 2013 Work And Well-Being Survey of The American Psychological Association, 37% of women feel stressed at work and even fewer—34%—believe they know how to handle stress. Men have similar pressure at work but a smaller percentage acknowledges or experiences stress.
In recent years, the annual American Psychological Association Surveys indicate that the source of women’s stress at work is partly tied to feelings of under-appreciation, inferior salary and concerns about likelihood of advancement.
Dr. David Posen, author of Is Work Killing You? A Doctor’s Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress, wrote:
Chronic stress reduces all of the things that help productivity—mental clarity, short-term memory, decision-making and moods.
Another major concern for women is doubling-up of the work load—we work on the job and then come home and work more. Only 20%of men report that they are helping out with housework while 48 percent of women claim the honors. (Who does the laundry in your house?) When it comes to mealtime at home, 39% of men claim to help out with meal preparation and cleanup compared to 65 percent of women. These 2012 statistics from The US Department of Labor are certainly indicative of a lessening gap between men and women when compared to the data of a century ago, but the gap is not yet closed. The Labor Department’s statistics also show:
On an average day, among adults living in households with children under age 6, women spent 1.1 hours providing physical care (such as bathing or feeding a child) to household children; by contrast, men spent 26 minutes providing physical care.
True—these are not new issues for women and advancement has taken place. What is relatively new to the picture is the recognition of the situation by society and the variety of tools available for reducing and preventing these problems. Of these, the Transcendental Meditation program has been scientifically verified to be most holistic and profound, with a broad range of mental, physical and emotional benefit.
Rest is always important to progress and to recovery. The deepest rest one can have, taken at will wherever a seat is available, comes with the Transcendental Meditation technique. During TM, the mind and body both settle to a state of deep rest, allowing deep-rooted stress and fatigue to dissolve, leaving one with greater energy and focus. The deep relaxation gained during the TM technique not only reduces stress but improves brain functioning and mental performance, creativity, and job performance.
Among many studies, a 1993 study of executives and workers found that after three months of regular practice of the TM program, employees showed increased professional and personal satisfaction. Reference: Anxiety, Stress and Coping: An International Journal 6: 245?262.(watch the TM program in Business and Government slide show on the homepage of www.TMwomenProfessionals.org)
The number one cause of death of American women is heart disease. According to research funded by the National Institutes of Health, stress and risk factors often caused by stress are reduced by TM practice. Watch a six minute video in which Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, Director of the Women’s Heart program at NYC’s Lenox Hill Hospital and spokesperson for Go Red for Women, discusses the benefits of TM to reduction of stress and heart disease.
Finding time to add a meditation practice to your already jam-packed routine may seem daunting at first. But women find that taking 20 minutes out twice a day for TM practice improves their mental and physical health and increases their efficiency, thereby providing them with more time to accomplish their tasks and enjoy their relationships.
The Transcendental Meditation program may very well prove to be the most powerful tool in your women’s self-empowerment toolbox.
About the Author
Janet Hoffman is the executive director of TM for Women Professionals in the USA.