It’s Easy To “Be Easy” When You’re Rich and Male (Duh.)
12:30 pm, September 28th | by Cass Daubenspeck
The debate about whether or not money buys happiness is subjective, but Science is making an effort to change that. The newest report from Proceedings of the National Academy of Science claims that “among leaders, lower stress levels go hand in hand with greater rank and power.” Hm…could there be a common variable among all those leaders?
The data may seem counterintuitive to those of us who think higher levels of power mean more responsibility and greater cause for worries. But the reason higher rank and power have an inverse relationship to stress is because of the sense of control both of them bring the possessor. After all, what’s more stressful — feeling really busy, or feeling totally out of control?
That’s not the confusing part about this report, though. Among the 148 leaders and 65 non-leaders asked about their stress level in this study, the leaders were more likely to be male and wealthy. Aha! We’ve found it! They also exercised more, smoked less and drank more caffeine. Their levels of cortisol were reportedly 27% lower than the non-leaders.
It must be nice to be a rich, powerful man with low stress levels, a regular exercise routine and few bad habits when your wife is perhaps at home taking care of your children, or someone else is being paid to take care of the little things in your life so that you can focus on your health and well-being. But let’s not forget that being rich and male are easier paths to power and success than, say, being poor and black.
I’m happy for people who have reached this place in their life, where they have achieved a level of professional success that allows them to live a more balanced life. I just wish the majority of those people weren’t still men.
[Photo via Shutterstock]