Dealing with stress
While stress is an emotion that commonly happens to both male and females, the way we react and manage stress tends to differ. Some symptoms are more common in men. One of the biggest things to consider is that men are more likely to stay silent and not report any emotional or physical symptoms as a result of stress. Instead the feelings are suppressed and 'bottled up' which causes its own set of problems.
When we look at toxic masculinity, We know that men have often been conditioned to think and behave in a certain way. One of these is not to express emotion or if you are struggling with stress. A lot of men believe that they have to be the grounded ones, the heads of the households and they have to have it all together. To admit to being stressed may make them feel like they are failing and not living up to their expectation of what they think a man should be. Put simply, to admit they are stressed may make them feel like they are admitting they are weak. The common response is to suppress this emotion.
When we suppress our emotions, they build. What happens here is that it causes a rebounded effect in other areas. Think of a balloon bursting with water that springs a leak. You quickly cover the hole only for the water to start spurting out of a different spot. This means that men will often use another emotion to express how they are feeling. In a lot of cases, this manifests as anger and can result in violence.
Alcohol is one of the main ways that men deal with stress in comparison to women. Alcohol itself is thought to be associated with associated with increased aggression, anger, and violence. When you are continuously suppressing your emotions and 'drowning your sorrows' there is only so long you bury these feelings. Think of it like a volcano, it is waiting to erupt. The smallest thing could be the breaking point causing you to act out.
While you may feel that you can hide what you are feeling from those around you, you can't hide from yourself. The problem is not going to go away unless it is addressed in a healthy way.
How to deal with stress
- Confide in a friend. Someone that will listen to you. They can be a member of the household, a friend or even someone at work. It is hard to put yourself in such a vulnerable state but it is important to talk.
- Mental health has a connection to physical health. Make sure you are eating a healthy balanced diet. Exercise is not only physically beneficial, but it can be mentally therapeutic as well. Take the stress out on the weights machine or focus it on the treadmill.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. These are a coping mechanism and not a solution to your problems.
- Find a work life balance. Spend your time doing things you like with the people you love. Try to take a holiday every so often. This is not an option for everyone, so even a makeshift long weekend can do the trick.
- Get some sleep. How many hours of sleep are you really getting each night? Exhaustion can amplify feelings of stress and anxiety. It is recommended that the average adult get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Switch off the mobile phone. Don’t bask in social media. It can be easy to compare your life against your friends on facebook. You see their happy pictures and status’s about how easy and wonderful life is for them. Remember that social media is all about perception. They are presenting the image that they want you to see. It is not real life. Don’t sleep with your phone under the pillow and check it when you can’t sleep, it does more harm than good.
- Be present with your family and friends. Spend quality time working on your bond and closeness with your family.
- Finally, seek professional help. There are many programs available that can assist you. Contact us today and we can help!
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