Stress is something we all don’t like but it is something that we will get exposed to time and time again. We may do everything in our power to prevent bad things from happening but, alas, not everything is under our control. A lot of things and factors come into play when something unfortunate and unwanted happens to us. So no matter how hard we try, stress is unavoidable and inevitable, just like Thanos.
Effects of Stress on a Man
When stress comes, it’s hard to ignore it. And as much as men try to, stress manifests itself in different ways. By definition, stress is the body’s response to certain situations that threaten a person’s confidence and security. That being said, stress has several effects on a person — physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral.
Some manifestations include headaches, upset stomach, chest pains, insomnia, erectile dysfunction, alopecia, low self-esteem, forgetfulness, pessimism, anxiety, and substance abuse among others.
How Men Deal with Stress
When it comes to stress, men handle it differently compared to women. While all people have a default fight-or-flight response to stress, it takes on different appearances.
For instance, when stressed, women generally reach out to people they can talk to. Men, on the other hand, shut down and keep to themselves, even to the point of isolation. Women have the tendency to cry their hearts out. Men bottle up and pretend as if nothing happened.
These differences are brought about mainly by hormones. Of course, other factors such as values, upbringing, and a false sense of machismo also come into play.
Most of the time, when men deal with stress the wrong way, they destroy a lot of areas in their lives — their relationships, the quality of their work, their morals, their discipline, and their direction.
Recommended Ways for Men to Deal with Stress
When you feel like stress is creeping up, take a break and go outside for some fresh air. Go hiking and camping over the weekend. Being out in nature is therapeutic.
Tend to yourself
While some women take the time to pamper themselves when they’re stressed, there’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself, too. Go to the barbershop, get a massage, dress up, do whatever makes you feel good.
Boundaries and safeguards
Set boundaries for yourself. Don’t be a yes man to everything. Let people know where you draw the line on some things. This will allow people to respect your personal space.
Work out or play sports
Release that pent-up frustration in the gym. Lift weights, go boxing, play some sports—anything that will get your body moving and release endorphins that boost your mood. It’s a productive and healthy way of dealing with stress.
Take some R&R
Studies have proven that people who regularly take vacations and time off work are healthier, more productive and energetic, less stressed, and have a better sex drive.
When you’re stressed, try expressing yourself on paper. Put it down in writing and don’t hold back, especially if you’re the type who finds it difficult to open up to people.
Get enough sleep
One of the major things that cause stress is lack of sleep. The obvious remedy to this is to get more sleep. A person who gets at least 7 hours of good quality sleep daily is less stressed and has a better mood throughout the day.
When you’re stressed, sometimes it affects your breathing. Controlling your breath helps calm your body, gives you instant relief, and helps you avoid an unnecessary stressful outburst.
Get rid of perfectionism
Men are wired to take pride in their performance. While doing your best is a good thing, being a perfectionist causes too much stress, especially if things don’t go according to plan. Learn to manage your expectations and accept that you cannot control everything.
Much of the stressors around us somehow seep their way into social media and our other online activities. Experts advise that we take the time regularly to disconnect from the virtual world and make real-life connections instead.
Listen to music
Music, as they say, soothes the savage beast. When you’re feeling anxious and stressed, crank up the volume and enjoy your favorite tracks. Depends on the media that you’re using, create a playlist or a mixed tape or CD and fill it with tunes that make you happy and relaxed.
They don’t say laughter is the best medicine for no reason. Laughter and humor may not really cure sicknesses and diseases, but they do have both short- and long-term health benefits, including relief from stress.
As far as stress is concerned, both men and women should learn how to manage it well. Being stressed is already bad enough, when dealt with in wrong ways, it can be destructive.