Society places a lot of pressure on Men. While the traditional role of a man and the expectations placed on them have changed significantly, in a lot of ways Men have to forget a lot of what they have been taught. For a long time, men were encouraged to suppress their emotions and were expected to be the ‘strong ones’ which in turn takes a massive toll on their mental health. You only need to look at the troubling statistics surrounding male suicide and men’s mental health to see that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Often Men won’t voice if they are struggling or seek they help they need as they may have a sense of embarrassment of even feel they have failed because they are not living up to the traditional expectation of masculinity. While they may be reluctant to seek therapy or professional help, they could still benefit from talking with other men going through the same thing. This is where a men’s support group comes in. While some men’s support groups focus on behavioural change, others offer to challenge and inspire a person to make changes within their life to be the best man that they can be. Participating in workshops with fellow Men who are going through similar challenges not only can be a bonding experiencing, but one of self discovery as well. Just talking to someone who a man feels they can relate to can help them ‘get it off their chest’. Maybe they feel they can’t tell their partner or family due to shame or embarrassment, yet things seem easier to talk about when it is a stranger going through the same thing. Instead of focusing of every thing that a person is doing that is wrong, what can this person do to be a better version of themselves?
Mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment and fully engaged with whatever activity it is you are doing. It is one thing to just go through the motions and live life, but it is another to actually live it and enjoy it. By adapting Mindfulness into your mindset, you can positivity change your outlook even on tasks you may feel are mundane.
While it can be time consuming and at times challenging to take your children to their weekly sports activity etc, instead of resenting the time it could be taking, embrace it and play an active role. Use this as a opportunity to engage with your children. Join in the fun or help out. You will soon start to cherish this time with your children rather than resenting it. It all starts by changing your mindset. If you are having a conversation with someone, instead of checking your Facebook or your emails, put the phone down and look at them in the eye and show them you are listening. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak but actually listen and engage. You will find that not only are you connecting and bonding with this person, but you are also forgetting about everything else in that moment because you are focused on this conversation. That email that you feel you have to respond is suddenly meaningless in this moment.
While these are only a couple of examples, adopting this kind of mindset into your daily life can reap many benefits, not just for the people you are engaging with, but for yourself as well.
“Research has shown that people who practice mindfulness have better immune functioning, lower amounts of stress, and improved focus and memory,”
Pooja Lakshumin MD
By making positive changes in your life which improves your own emotional wellbeing, you are less likely to act out against those you love. You may not feel the need to take excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs to numb your emotions. You may not feel as stressed or even depressed. You could even begin to love life. These things however do not happen on their own. Like anything it takes time, commitment and a willingness to want to do it. While your family and friends may encourage you to be the best that you can be, the buck starts with you. You have to want to be the best that you can be for yourself and for your family.
It can be a difficult process to navigate and you may not know where to start. Therapy can be expensive, but there is an alternative such as men support groups and wellness retreats. It is all a step towards being a better version on yourself.
Heavy Metal will be hosting a retreat especially for men wanting to be a better version of themselves later this year. Places are limited so contact us to discuss or book your place today and you will have taken the first step to becoming a better you!
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