Updated: Mar 30
Stress sucks - Talking about stress is probably the manliest thing you could do.
When it comes to tough conversations, men often struggle to open up about their feelings. You might feel it's not 'manly' to talk about stress or mental health issues and that you need to tough it out. But this isn't healthy behaviour; bottling up your emotions can cause even more distress.
It can be tough to talk about stress, especially if you don't want others to know how you're feeling. Actually, talking about stress and challenges is a sign of strength – taking the time to engage with your emotions rather than trying to ignore them is a brave step in self-care. Plus, expressing your worries can help you clarify the issue and find solutions to reduce stress.
Knowing who you can talk to, or where to start, can take time and effort. But there are lots of resources are available, including helplines, support groups, and mental health professionals. For example, could you consider an
online counselling session if you're uncomfortable talking face-to-face with someone? Finding a professional you trust and feel comfortable talking with would be best.
When you're stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is designed to help you cope with stress, but if it's released for too long or at the wrong time, it can damage your health.
Physical symptoms of stress can include:
a racing heart
muscle tension or pain
changes in appetite
changes in sleep pattern
feeling lightheaded or dizzy
The psychological effects of stress can be just as damaging as the physical effects. When you're stressed, you may experience the following:
When you're stressed, you may experience some changes in your behaviour. You might become more irritable or angry, for example. You may also need help to focus or to make decisions. Additionally, you might be more likely to engage in risky behaviour, such as drinking or smoking. Finally, you may feel more isolated and alone.
Things you can do to help with stress
Identify healthy coping mechanisms and stick to them. This could include exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling, or deep breathing exercises.
Avoid any type of substance abuse, including alcohol and drugs.
Seek professional help if the stress is too much to handle. There's no shame in admitting that you need help - it shows great strength and courage.
Connect with loved ones and friends. Talking about your problems can help lighten the load, and spending time with those you care about can help you feel supported.
Things to avoid when suffering from stress
Don't isolate yourself - when you're feeling stressed, it can be tough to open up to others. But keeping your worries and feelings bottled up can only make them worse. Reach out to loved ones and friends for support.
Don't overindulge - it can be tempting to drown your sorrows in alcohol or enjoy a stress-relieving cigarette, but filling in these behaviours can worsen your stress in the long run.
Don't ignore your health - when you're feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to neglect your health. But this is a mistake; taking care of yourself is crucial in managing stress. Please get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly.
What are your stress busting solutions?