Although women carry a lot of responsibility for the family which leads to more daily stress, men are not unaffected by stress. Unfortunately, men tend to believe that stress is negatively affecting their health to a greater extent than women do. This could be because men are told to “suck it up” and not express their feelings. However, a key ingredient in managing stress is information and knowledge.
Men and women are often both stressed in the moment at the same rate, but women do report that they are more stressed in their everyday life. This isn’t to say that men don’t get stressed with everyday responsibilities, but because they are focusing on their career, the stress is different. While not all stress can be prevented, many times it’s the thoughts about the situation that causes the discomfort.
Recognize the Reasons
Helping men understand where their stress is coming from helps them manage their health more effectively. In Time Magazine’s Healthland, men cited these reasons for their stress.
- Financial problems and conflicts
- Relationship issues
What Do Men Need?
Making time to discuss their healthcare needs as it relates to stress has to be a priority for men. They need to understand the damage their bottled-up emotions takes on their overall health as they balance their life. Healthcare providers need to encourage communication and engagement with advice on positive stress management for all of their patients, but especially men. Telling men not to worry and to be more vulnerable will not solve their problems. Men want concrete information about how to solve the problem.
Stress Management Techniques
Relieving stress is not about preventing the situation, but to manage how you handle the moment. Men need to learn that they cannot control every moment of the day. This is a hard lesson for many, because most people don’t want to admit to any vulnerability. Teaching men how stress affects their health helps them understand the importance of managing it.
Men need to learn to take steps to manage their stress. While each person is different, these four basic techniques are a good place to start.
- Get connected with others. Find a mentor. Have dinner with family or friends. Put down the electronics and actually have a conversation with someone you trust.
- Get physical exercise. Whether it’s shooting hoops with your buddies or hitting golf balls on the driving range, get out and move.
- Get enough rest.
- Talk to a healthcare provider. The earlier you learn to manage your stress the more effectively you will deal it and stay healthier to deal with all life throws at you. Make your health a priority.
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